Oregon militia

Jan 7, 2016

Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. In this day and age of information overload our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Moreover, the Media is not a neutral player, but an instrument of the power elite.  Thus, we are ripe for the simplifying power of the sound bite and the Media is more than willing to provide us with a boogeyman .
The neat and sharp-focused World offered by the establishment  – where God is on our side, and The Others are evil Muslims and political correct Marxists conspiring to take away our freedom and wealth-  is compelling and comforting; we have the firepower to do what needs to be done.
While the political ideology of the Tea Party is not an exact match of the European fascism of the 1930´s, there are troubling parallels between the events that lead to the Second World War and the circumstances of the early Twenty-First Century. The Tea Party movement shares with Fascism an obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, and victim-hood, as well as compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants embrace a credo of violence and ideology-driven armed militias .
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
Thomas Jefferson.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny.   It sounds like sedition.  There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ.  Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed. They see themselves as law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box, and that that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Fools playing with fire; a fire that will get us all burned.
In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign,  “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
More guns were sold in December 2015 than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.
The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone, according to an analysis of federal background check data by The New York Times.
During the previous record month, December 2012, President Obama called for new buying restrictions after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several days ago a group of right wing militiamen stormed a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The group is engaged in an armed occupation claiming to be opposing the U.S. government for perceived violations of their rights. They have also made the demand that two rancher brothers convicted of arson, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, be released from prison. The 150-man strong occupation force is being led by three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, specifically Ammon Bundy. As you may recall they were engaged in an armed standoff with the F.B.I. in 2014 over a dispute involving cattle grazing land.

The militia men are arguing that they should own public land simply because they feel the government hasn’t been kind to them. Their goal is to build private businesses on the protected land. They’re trying to take away land that is being held in common for their own exploitation of it.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” The White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

Law enforcement officials said that the occupiers came to the region with a specific goal:

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Clownish as such stunts unquestionably are, it bears remembering that the activities of such violent abolitionists as John Brown looked just as pointless in their time; their importance was purely as a gauge of the pressures building toward civil war—and that’s exactly the same reading I give to the event just described. The era of rural and urban guerrilla warfare, roadside bombs, internment camps, horrific human rights violations by all sides, and millions of refugees fleeing in all directions, that will bring down the United States of America is still a little while off yet.

Jan 7, 2016

Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. In this day and age of information overload our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Moreover, the Media is not a neutral player, but an instrument of the power elite.  Thus, we are ripe for the simplifying power of the sound bite and the Media is more than willing to provide us with a boogeyman .
The neat and sharp-focused World offered by the establishment  – where God is on our side, and The Others are evil Muslims and political correct Marxists conspiring to take away our freedom and wealth-  is compelling and comforting; we have the firepower to do what needs to be done.
While the political ideology of the Tea Party is not an exact match of the European fascism of the 1930´s, there are troubling parallels between the events that lead to the Second World War and the circumstances of the early Twenty-First Century. The Tea Party movement shares with Fascism an obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, and victim-hood, as well as compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants embrace a credo of violence and ideology-driven armed militias .
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
Thomas Jefferson.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny.   It sounds like sedition.  There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ.  Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed. They see themselves as law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box, and that that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Fools playing with fire; a fire that will get us all burned.
In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign,  “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
More guns were sold in December 2015 than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.
The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone, according to an analysis of federal background check data by The New York Times.
During the previous record month, December 2012, President Obama called for new buying restrictions after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several days ago a group of right wing militiamen stormed a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The group is engaged in an armed occupation claiming to be opposing the U.S. government for perceived violations of their rights. They have also made the demand that two rancher brothers convicted of arson, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, be released from prison. The 150-man strong occupation force is being led by three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, specifically Ammon Bundy. As you may recall they were engaged in an armed standoff with the F.B.I. in 2014 over a dispute involving cattle grazing land.

The militia men are arguing that they should own public land simply because they feel the government hasn’t been kind to them. Their goal is to build private businesses on the protected land. They’re trying to take away land that is being held in common for their own exploitation of it.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” The White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

Law enforcement officials said that the occupiers came to the region with a specific goal:

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Clownish as such stunts unquestionably are, it bears remembering that the activities of such violent abolitionists as John Brown looked just as pointless in their time; their importance was purely as a gauge of the pressures building toward civil war—and that’s exactly the same reading I give to the event just described. The era of rural and urban guerrilla warfare, roadside bombs, internment camps, horrific human rights violations by all sides, and millions of refugees fleeing in all directions, that will bring down the United States of America is still a little while off yet.

Alphabet soup

Published on Aug 20, 2014
Este es un pequeño homenaje a Jim Foley. Esta grabación se corresponde al año 2012, septiembre. Jim fue de los primeros periodistas del mundo en entrar en Siria… Y su compromiso le llevó a seguir trabajando a pesar de las dificultades para hacerlo. Esto es Alepo, en el peor momento de la ofensiva. Allí estaba Jim…


On March 4, 2014, the Administration submitted its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, including a base funding request of $45.6 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and a base funding request of $13.3 billion for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP). On June 30, the DNI submitted an updated FY2015 budget request of $49.4 billion for the NIP including funding for overseas contingency operations. An updated budget request figure for the MIP has not yet been disclosed.  One of the justifications for the budget of intelligence agencies is Islamic extremism. Yet the same intelligence agencies have been behind the rise of Islamic extremism for decades now.

The United States is th eonly country in the world where the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, are not view as a consequences of U.S. policy. Yet the record shows that the al-Qaeda network might have not existed at all, had the United States not sponsored Islamic extremism in Afghanistan. This is commonly understood outside the United States. The memory lapse is  understandable. Once the U.S.-sponsored Islamic extremists had forced the Soviet Army out of Afghanistan in the late 1980s, the United States just forgot about the monster it created.

The violence of Islamism has roused anxious concern throughout the Muslim world.  In the United States, the media and policy makers wage a campaign to demonize Muslims and Islam as a threat to Western interests. This political motivated propaganda is tuned to the resistance to Israel occupation of Muslim lands. The anti-Islam bias sets a double standard: The U.S. Media condones Israel’s U.S.-financed violence – conducted on an enormous scale – while denouncing Arab resistence to it. The propaganda in the West suggests that violence and holoy war are inherent in Islam. The reality is that as a worldwide movement Jihad is a recent phenomenon. It is a modern, multinational conglomerate founded not so much by fanatic mullahs in Teheran as it is sponsored by governments including the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Historically, nearly all Muslim strugles of the 20th century were secular. 

For the average citizen of the West, the idea of the United States as The Sponsor of international terrorism would appear utterly incomprehensible. After all, one reads daily that the United States is leading the charge against something it calls terrorism, and it regularly assails its allies for dragging in response to terrorism.  The Western  misperception comes from an abuse of language. The powerful define terrorism to exclude their own acts. Washington arbitrarily designates any group or country which it opposes as terrorist, and this will be transmitted to the public by the mass media without laughter. 

“The War on Terrorism” was a semantic manipulation of the word “terrorism,” which is loosely defined, however it gave the government the extra power it has in time of war for an indeterminable amount of time. The Patriot Act, the invasive, controversial legislation was given a name that suggests anyone against it was “unpatriotic.” The slogan “Support the Troops” was seen everywhere, suggesting that if one was against the indefinable, unjust war that they were also against the troops. This again suggests opposers were “unpatriotic.” The best example may be that torture was renamed “enhanced interrogation.

The pre-eminent authority on the English language, the much-venerated Oxford English Dictionary, says:

Terrorism: A system of terror. 1. Government by intimidation as directed and carried out by the party in power in France during the revolution of 1789-94; the system of `Terror’. 2. gen. A policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized.


In its semantic manipulation of terrorism and related words, a number of devices are used to differentiate friends and self from terrorists. Perhaps the most insidious is to confine the use of the word terrorism to nonstate actors and actions; i.e., to define terrorism as the use of violence to oppose governments.  This departs from the standard and traditional usage, according to which terrorism is a mode of governing as well as of opposing governments by means of intimidation. In this context, it is curios that The State Department aserts that ISIS is not a terrorist organzation.

ISIS used to be called al-Qaida. It has been claimed that the CIA had ties with Osama Bin Laden‘s al-Qaeda and its “Afghan Arab” fighters when it armed Mujahideen groups against the Soviet Union during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

In a 2004 BBC article entitled “Al-Qaeda’s origins and links”, the BBC wrote:
During the anti-Soviet jihad Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA.[1]
Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary in the UK from 1997–2001, believed the CIA had provided arms to the Arab Mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden, writing, “Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan.” His source for this is unclear.[2]
In conversation with former British Defence Secretary Michael Portillo, two-time Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto said Osama bin Laden was initially pro-American.[3]Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, has also stated that bin Laden once expressed appreciation for the United States’ help in Afghanistan. On CNN’s Larry King program he said:[4]
Bandar bin Sultan: This is ironic. In the mid-’80s, if you remember, we and the United – Saudi Arabia and the United States were supporting the Mujahideen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets. He [Osama bin Laden] came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, he said the communists. Isn’t it ironic?
Larry King: How ironic. In other words, he came to thank you for helping bring America to help him.
Bandar bin Sultan: Right.
Former FBI translator and Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, interviewed by Brad Friedman on the The Mike Malloy Show on June 2009 has stated: “I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban – those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.
U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”,[7] and “simply a folk myth.”
One allegation not denied by the US government is that the U.S. Army enlisted and trained a cashiered Egyptian soldier named Ali Mohamed, and that it knew Ali occasionally took trips to Afghanistan, where he claimed to fight Russians.
New allegations have turned up that the United States and NATO have either unknowingly or knowingly been supporting al-Qaeda affiliates during the Libyan civil war and the current Syrian civil war.[26] Al-Qaeda affiliates account for 12,000 fighters in Syria and one affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, is part of the Islamic coalition which accounts for 59-75% of the rebels in Syria and plans a political transition to Sharia law post-Assad.[27][28] Turkey, a NATO member, has listed the Al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organization.  
The United States of America has at various times in recent history provided support to Terrorist paramilitary organizations across the world. It has also provided assistance to numerous authoritarian regimes that have used terror as a tool of repression.[1][2]
United States support to non-state terrorists has been prominent in Latin America, the Middle-East, and Southern Africa.[1] From 1981 to 1991, the United States provided weapons, training, and extensive financial and logistical support to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who used terror tactics in their fight against the Nicaraguan government.[3] At various points the United States also provided training, arms, and funds to terrorists among the Cuban exiles, such as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles.
Various reasons have been provided to justify such support. These including destabilizing political movements that might have aligned with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, including popular democratic and socialist movements.[4] Such support has also formed a part of the war on drugs.[2] Support was also geared toward ensuring a conducive environment for American corporate interests abroad, especially when these interests came under threat from democratic regimes.
Several scholars have accused the United States of conducting state terrorism. They have written about the liberal democracies and their use of state terrorism, particularly in relation to the Cold War. According to them, state terrorism was used to protect the interest of capitalist elites, and the U.S. organized a neo-colonial system of client states, co-operating with local elites to rule through terror. However, little of this work has been recognized by other scholars of terrorism or even of state terrorism.[1]
Notable works include Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman‘s The political economy of human rights (1979), Herman’s The real terror network (1985), Alexander L. George Western state terrorism (1991), Frederick Gareau’s State terrorism and the United States (2004) and Doug Stokes America’s other war (2005). Of these, Chomsky and Herman are considered the foremost writers on the United States and state terrorism. Noam Chomsky  said:
The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism. In fact, it’s doing it all over the world.  Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history:  the drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it […] All of these operations, they are terror operations.
***
People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them.  That’s not a surprise. Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to [American] acts of terror.
Experts agrees that indiscriminate drone strikes are war crimes (more here andhere).
Chomsky has previously extensively documented U.S. terrorism.  As Wikipedia notes:
Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.
***
They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.
***
In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.
The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – noted:
Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.
The former NSA and CIA agent Edward Snowden revealed that the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was trained in Israel, various Iranien sources reported. 



By Bill Gertz – Washington Free Beacon – – Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The CIA failed to provide adequate warning of the recent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant military incursion into Iraq despite having a significant presence of agency officers in the country, according to U.S. officials and security analysts.

Critics of the agency said the intelligence failure was made worse by a failure of the Obama administration to recognize the threat posed to the country by the ISIL, which last week renamed itself simply the Islamic State (IS) and declared its captured territory in Syria and Iraq is now a “caliphate.”

PHO

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/1/cia-blamed-iraq-intel-failure-isis-rise/#ixzz3AyRLW9bu


US and UK try to identify Isis militant with British accent

British and US security services were trying on Wednesday to identify the Islamic State (Isis) militant with a British accent who appeared in a video of the apparent beheading of a US journalist, James Foley.

The UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said intelligence agencies were trying to unmask the fluent English-speaking militant in the propaganda footage. Scotland Yard warned the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating the video within the UK might constitute a criminal offence under terrorism legislation. A spokesman said: “The Metropolitan police service counter terrorism command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley.”

Afzal Ashraf, of the Royal United Services Institute, said many of the estimated 500 British fighters in Syria and Iraq had criminal backgrounds in the UK so were likely to be known to police. Intelligence agencies would also be using linguistics technology to track down the man, he said.

Ashraf said the video was part of a “propaganda war” being waged by Isis. “There will be a minor effect on recruitment. It will affect a certain kind of psychopathic individual but it’s a very minority sport, fortunately.

“There will be far more people put off by these guys but there is a market for this sort of thing,” he said.

“The message that really motivates people is it’s a way of hitting back at what they perceive to be the US bullying and domination of the Muslim world. They feel impotent when they see the awesome US air and land power and they see this as a way of hitting back and that’s the principle motivation.”

Erin Saltman, a senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-terrorism thinktank, said the footage was geared towards disaffected Islamist extremists in the west who would be able to empathise with the British-accented militant.

“The video is quite a shock mainly because the two characters are an American and a Briton. That’s done very deliberately,” she said.

“As soon as you have a fighter with a Middle East accent it becomes very easy to disassociate with that and say they’re brutal, they’re barbaric. But when you have a British citizen, raised in the UK, this is somebody we can empathise with.”


18 August 2014

There is evidence in the public domain that the US and Saudi Arabia are behind the ISIS. ISIS used to be called Al-Qaida but that is not convenient anymore, it seems because it is clearly high treason to cooperate with Al-Qaida, Even in the US Media these facts were acknowledge when Obama was pondering invading Syria.

Tell your congressman that you are concerned about allegations that the US and/or its allies trained Islamic extremist in Jordan to fight the Syrian government. Ask how a bunch of young tugs can operate sophisticated high tech us supplied equipment without training, maintenance, and spear parts. Ask how Israel, with her paranoid arrogance and the best army and intelligence service in the World, allowed a military presence of the size of the ISIS to surge in her backyard. Ask who supplies the ammunition and money.

There are reasons, I guess, for people in power to play chess with the World, but at the end of the line what we have is psychopathic behavior and Power for the sake of Power. What we can do first of all is being informed and tell others at church, school, friends what is going on and tell government officials that you are aware and against blood for oil.

By Nick Tattersall

ISTANBUL | Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:34am EDT

(Reuters) – The rise of al Qaeda in parts of Syria’s north has left Turkey facing a new security threat on its already vulnerable border and raised questions about its wholesale support for rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has long championed more robust backing for Syria’s fractious armed opposition, arguing it would bring a quicker end to Assad’s rule and give moderate forces the authority they needed to keep more radical Islamist elements in check.

But with Islamist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) taking territory in parts of the north near the border in recent weeks, it is a strategy that increasingly looks to have been a miscalculation.

Ankara has found itself facing accusations that indiscriminate support for the rebels has allowed weapons and foreign fighters to cross into northern Syria and facilitated the rise of radical groups.

“We are being accused of supporting al Qaeda,” a source close to the Turkish government said, adding that U.S. officials had raised concerns on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York last month.

“They were politely but aggressively critical. The attention has focused away from Assad to al Qaeda,” the source said, echoing frustration voiced by other officials in Ankara that this was playing into Assad’s hands.

As if on cue, the Turkish army said on Wednesday it had fired on ISIL fighters over the border after a stray mortar shell hit Turkish soil. It has retaliated in the past in such cases but this appeared to be the first time its response had targeted al Qaeda-linked fighters.

Turkey has maintained an open-door policy throughout the two-and-a-half-year conflict, providing a lifeline to rebel-held areas by allowing humanitarian aid in, giving refugees a route out and letting the rebel Free Syrian Army organize on its soil.

It officially denies arming the rebels or facilitating the passage of foreign fighters who have swollen the ranks of al Qaeda-linked factions including ISIL and Nusra.

“Logistically nothing goes through the official borders in Turkey or any other country anyway,” said Louay Meqdad, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army.

But the 900 km (560-mile) border is difficult to police and refugees, smugglers and rebel fighters have been able to cross undetected in remote areas, bypassing the main crossing points.

“Officially we didn’t allow it. But it’s a long border and some groups, we tried to accommodate them in the Syrian opposition, which we wanted to be as large as possible,” said one Turkish official in the region, when asked whether foreign fighters had been able to cross.

Foreign mercenaries, mainly backed by Gulf states, were initially welcomed by Syria’s rebel forces because they had greater battle experience and were more effective against pro-Assad militias, he said.

“This was a tactical mistake and now we see a totally different balance of power.”


The Wall Street Journal recently revealed new details about how Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud — Saudi’s former ambassador to the United States — is leading the effort to prop up the Syrian rebels. Intelligence agents from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Jordan and other allied states are working at a secret joint operations center in Jordan to train and arm hand-picked Syrian rebels. The Journal also reports Prince Bandar has been jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime. “Really what he’s doing is he’s reprising a role that he played in the 1980s when he worked with the Reagan administration to arrange money and arms for mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and also worked with the CIA in Nicaragua to support the Contras,” says Wall Street Journal reporter Adam Entous. “So in many ways this is a very familiar position for Prince Bandar, and it’s amazing to see the extent to which veterans of the CIA were excited to see him come back because, in the words of a diplomat who knows Bandar, he brings the Arabic term wasta, which means under-the-table clout. You know his checks are not going to bounce and that he’ll be able to deliver the money from the Saudis.”
Watch Part Two of Interview, ‘U.S.-Russian Tensions Heighten over Syria; Roots of Conflict Stem from NATO Bombing of Libya


Israeli – U.S. Terror

excerpted from the book

Covert Action: the Roots of Terrorism

edited by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap

Ocean Press, 2003, paper

Israeli – U.S. Terror

Introduction by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap

p121

For more than 35 years, the violent and bitter history of the Palestinian-lsraeli conflicts have centered around a history of collaboration between U.S. and Israeli military and intelligence services and their coincidence of interests. Israeli covert operations have backed up U.S. clandestine schemes, especially in the Middle East, but also in Central America, southern Africa and elsewhere in a global conquest in which U.S. domination has reached its apex under George W. Bush.

Ever since the discovery of vast, almost unimaginable oil reserves in the region, the overriding strategic objective of the United States in the Middle East has been access to and eventual control over that resource. And since its 1967 victory in the six-day war, when Israel established itself as the regional military superpower capable of aiding in this primary U.S. objective, massive U.S. foreign aid and subsidized weapons of war have ensured an Israeli-U.S. alliance with mutually expansionist agendas. Both want unfettered access to Arab oil and more.

The second U.S. imperative is its strategic partnership with Israel, a function of the power of the pro-lsrael lobby in the United States, exemplified by the ability of the American-lsrael Political Action Committee to influence congressional and even presidential elections. And the White House, State Department and Pentagon are riddled with insiders with dual loyalties, the belief that U.S. and Israeli interests are and should be, identical.

The quid pro quo for Israel, an extension of this objective, is the relative free play given to its own designs in the Middle East as a military force and an ever-expanding Zionist state.

The United States has given Israel virtually every sophisticated weapon system it has to offer, more than $18 billion in the last decade, with more than $2 billion in military aid slated for the next fiscal year (2003-4). As a further reward for cooperation in covert activities around the globe, the U.S. remained silent, if not actually assisted, Israel’s development and testing of its own nuclear weapons.

Although no significant policies of the Israeli Government could be implemented without the tacit concurrence of its U.S. benefactor, when it suits Washington’s rapacious oil policies, arrangements of convenience with Israel’s enemies were not precluded in the past. The United States (and Britain) supplied chemical and other weapons to Iraq during the Iraq-lran war, while covertly working with Israel to supply Iran.

And Israel has also conducted its own military intelligence operations against U.S. targets, such as the seemingly inexplicable Israeli bombing of the U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 war, a deliberate act apparently to prevent the U.S. communications ship from monitoring, perhaps disrupting its invasion and occupation of the Golan Heights. And, of course, each nation spies on the other; while Jonathan Pollard was caught and jailed, both countries have active operatives, collaborators and media assets in each other’s territory.

But no matter which regime may be in power in either country, both Israeli and U.S. campaigns plot the elimination of any viable, sovereign, Palestinian state. Together, their machinations of incremental negotiations followed by betrayal, assassination and invasion have imposed upon the Palestinians what Noam Chomsky called “a system of permanent neocolonial dependency.”

Brutal attacks on Palestinian civilians, collective punishment, obliteration of entire villages, mass forced expulsions, illegal settlement of occupied land including East Jerusalem, torture, terrorism, starvation and murder have been used by successive Israeli governments with U.S. approval.

Universal military conscription of Israeli youth thrusts young draftees into endless confrontations with Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories, ensuring an existential racial hatred in deliberately provocative “strategies of tension” and expansion, all in the name of a “fragile” Israeli state security. This while Israel has one of the most powerful and best-equipped armed forces in the world, the only nuclear power in the region.

Despite Israel’s control through the ClA-approved, Oslo-directed Palestinian Authority, the PA was locked in an endless cycle of repression and corruption through enforced collaboration with security committees run by the CIA and Israeli intelligence against the Palestinian people. Sharon’s campaign against its institutional infrastructure also included intentional killings of large numbers of Palestinian civilians through saturation bombings of refugee camps and villages and the homes of suspected terrorists (with no regard for the lives of innocent neighbors), aided by computerized targeting and the rounding up of thousands of Palestinian men and women and their families for planned expulsion.

The Palestinians themselves, dispersed and dispossessed and used as pawns by other Arab nations, have never been able to develop a united vision. There are Palestinian nationalists and socialists and there are Palestinian fundamentalists. The fostering of disunity and corruption within these factions-whether in the Occupied Territories or in exile-has been a major element in the U.S.-lsraeli targeting of the Palestinian national struggle by covert manipulation of Palestinian exiles and groups. In what was hardly a coincidence, during the early 1980s, while the United States actively encouraged an Islamic “Holy War” in Afghanistan, the Israelis infiltrated and supported a burgeoning Islamic fundamentalist movement, later allowing Islamic charities, religious schools and training sites to flourish, as their well-financed graduates countered the growing influence of Palestinian nationalists.

The occupation army’s control of land, travel, water, food and medicine intensified, even as Palestinians attempted to negotiate an ever-changing “peace process” with Israel. Orchestrated with the United States as a delaying tactic, this effectively prevented an independent Palestinian state. The Oslo accords achieved only greater Israeli control over the territories and the geometric expansion of armed, militant Zionist settlements entrenched in the West Bank and Gaza.

The plan for the gradual creation of an autonomous Palestine was transformed from a blueprint for a contiguous territory into a jigsaw puzzle divided by Jewish settlements, fortified access roads and innumerable security zones. The proposed map of Palestinian areas resembles the Bantustans of apartheid South Africa. Israeli tanks and troops poured into these tiny “cantons,” bombing and killing civilians at will. And Bush’s minimal support for such a state, conditioned upon “regime change” in the Palestinian Authority, may disappear altogether, as events suggest a Likud push towards a final ethnic cleansing.

Israeli State Terror

by Naseer Aruri
CAQ 1988

p126
Israeli State Terror

In his personal diary, which was published against the wishes of the Israeli establishment, former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett reveals that Israeli military operations against Arab civilian populations were designed to terrorize them and create fear, tension and instability. Sharett’s documentation shows that Israel’s territorial expansion (such as in the Suez in 1956) was facilitated by Israeli acts of provocation, which generated Arab hostility and created pretexts for intervention. For example, the attack by Israeli Army Unit 101 led by Ariel Sharon on the Palestinian village of Kibya in October 1953, causing numerous civilian casualties and destruction of homes, was condemned by Sharett. He writes, “[In the cabinet meeting] I condemned the Kibya affair that exposed us in front of the whole world as a gang of blood-suckers, capable of mass massacres regardless it seems, of whether their actions may lead to war.

More recent accounts by Israeli writers show how earlier acts of terrorism provided a historical background to adoption of a policy of state terrorism by Israel. Benny Morris’s explanation of the Palestinian exodus in 1948, based on state, military and Zionist archives, refutes the official Israeli version that the Palestinians bear responsibility for their own expulsion. An earlier work by Irish journalist Erskine Childers demonstrated that, contrary to the official Israeli version, there were no Arab radio broadcasts ordering the Palestinians to leave. And Israeli journalist Tom Segev reveals in his book how instrumental was Zionist terrorism in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. Sixteen months after 250 Arab civilians were massacred in the village of Deir Yassin (April 9, 1948) by the combined forces of ETZEL (known as Menachem Begin’s Irgun) and LEHI (known as Yitzhak Shamir’s Stern Gang) there was a debate in the Israeli set in which, according to Segev, a member of Begin’s Herut Party had boasted: “Thanks to Deir Yassin, we won the war.”

Another account by Lenny Brenner reveals that Israeli Prime Minister Shamir was a convert to the pro-Mussolini Betar (Zionist Brownshirts) in the late 1930s and that his Stern Gang had attempted to strike a deal with the Nazi regime in Germany in 1941 in which the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine on a “totalitarian basis” would be bound by a treaty with the German Reich.

Shamir’s commitment to right-wing causes and to terrorism was unmistakably revealed in an article he wrote in the LEHI journal Hehazit (The Front) in the summer of 1943. This excerpt stands in contrast to Shamir’s constant moralizing and condemnation of what he calls “PLO terrorism:”

Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat… [T]errorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier.

Shamir’s cabinet colleague Yitzhak Rabin who, as defense minister in charge of the occupied territories, proclaimed the policy of “might, force and blows” in January 1988 (which has so far resulted in an estimated 281 deaths, more than 50,000 injuries and 30,000 detentions) has also had a consistent record of terrorism for more than 40 years. As the deputy commander of Operation Dani, he, along with the late former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and the late former Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, were responsible for the expulsion of between 50,000 and 70,000 people from the towns of Lydda and Ramleh in July 1948. The town of Ramleh had surrendered without a fight after the withdrawal of the Jordan Army but the inhabitants were rounded up, expelled and told never to come back. Benny Morris characterized that as the “biggest expulsion operation of the 1948 war.” Rabin expressed empathy with “the great suffering inflicted upon” his men who caused the expulsion.

One of those expelled was a 13-year-old boy by the name of Khalil alWazir, later known as Abu Jihad. Yitzhak Rabin, who was responsible for that act as a member of the Zionist militia, was one of the inner cabinet decision-makers who decided, 40 years later, to assassinate al-Wazir far away from his home in Ramleh. The man who headed the inner cabinet, Yitzhak Shamir, told an inquirer who wanted to know who killed Abu Jihad, “I heard about it on the radio.”

It was typical of the official response to the killing; claims of ignorance, broad hints that Abu Jihad’s responsibility for the Palestinian uprising could only trigger that kind of response and the usual reference to a factional conflict within the Palestinian movement as being responsible for the assassination. In fact, the murder of Abu Jihad is the latest incident in a continuous pattern of Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders and intellectuals among whom are Karmal al-Adwan, Ghassan Kanafani, Kamal Nasser, Majid Abu Sharar, Abu Yurif and many others.

In a New York Times article summarizing the official Israeli interpretation of its own policies, Thomas Friedman maintains that Israel endeavors to “turn terror back on the terrorists.” This strategy has gone through several different stages. For the period of 1948-56 the strategy was described as “counterterrorism through retaliation or negative feedback” and was employed against Egypt and Jordan to prevent border crossings by Palestinian refugees attempting, in the main, to check on the conditions of their former homes.” By 1972, Israel was striking against “the nerve centers and the perpetrators themselves” using letter bombs, exploding cars and telephones and quiet assassinations of Palestinian leaders and intellectuals on the back streets of Europe. Later acts of terrorism including the destruction of entire villages in Lebanon, raids on Beirut, Baghdad and Tunis have become typical of Israeli policy towards Arab nonacceptance of its regional hegemony. Such acts have rarely evoked U.S. condemnation. In fact the Reagan Administration characterized Israel’s raid on the PLO headquarters in Tunis as an act of self-defense.

United States and Israel-A “Special” Relationship

Strategic cooperation between Israel and the United States was consummated between 1982 and 1988 and has dramatically elevated Israel’s role in U.S. global strategic calculation. By 1983, the Reagan Administration had accepted the Israeli view that the Palestine question was not the principal cause of instability in the Middle East. Henceforth, it would not be allowed to interfere in the “special relationship” between a superpower and its strategic ally.

In the special relationship between the United States and Israel, the latter is considered a “unique strategic asset. In the crucial Middle East, Israel is viewed as the cornerstone of U.S. policy, which is perceived as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and radical revolutionary transformation. Outside the Middle East, Israel has emerged as the most important supplier of the technology of repression, antiguerrilla training and infrastructure to combat revolution, all euphemistically phrased “counterterrorism.” Israel ranks as the fifth largest exporter of arms in the world, according to CIA estimates and it has become an essential component of the global counterinsurgency business. “Hit lists” used by the death squads in Guatemala have been computerized with Israeli assistance and the Uzi machine gun is the standard weapon of the death squads. The special relationship between the United States and Israel is a two-way street. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. economic and military aid and in return Israel has much to offer the United States. The Reagan Administration has publicly declared that Israel’s substantial experience and “success” in coping with terrorism should provide guidance for the United States. When George Shultz spoke at a New York synagogue in 1984 he said:

No nation has more experience with terrorism than Israel and no nation has made a greater contribution to our understanding of the problem and the best way to confront it. By supporting organizations like the Jonathan Institute, named after the brave Israeli soldier who led and died at Entebbe, the Israeli people have raised international awareness of the global scope of the terrorist threat… [T]he rest of us would do well to follow Israel’s example.

The fact that the United States and Israel are so closely allied and use the same criteria for defining who are “terrorists” and who are not, necessarily makes the United States a dubious participant in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel Shahak on the “Transfer Proposal”

by Ellen Ray
CAQ 1988

p135
Death Squads

… in Israel the use of death squads to murder Palestinians has been discussed in some of the Hebrew press. It was not employed in the occupied territories until about September or October 1987, when we had one very well-documented case in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli Hebrew press, three Palestinians were discovered dead, in a car. One of them was a Palestinian guerrilla who had escaped from prison. The two others were collaborators [Palestinians who work with or support the Israelis]-well-known, rich collaborators. One of them had established a branch of the Tel Aviv stock exchange in Gaza. The other was of a similar background. So you can understand that such people are neither guerrillas nor helpers of guerrillas.

Published on Aug 20, 2014
Este es un pequeño homenaje a Jim Foley. Esta grabación se corresponde al año 2012, septiembre. Jim fue de los primeros periodistas del mundo en entrar en Siria… Y su compromiso le llevó a seguir trabajando a pesar de las dificultades para hacerlo. Esto es Alepo, en el peor momento de la ofensiva. Allí estaba Jim…


On March 4, 2014, the Administration submitted its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, including a base funding request of $45.6 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and a base funding request of $13.3 billion for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP). On June 30, the DNI submitted an updated FY2015 budget request of $49.4 billion for the NIP including funding for overseas contingency operations. An updated budget request figure for the MIP has not yet been disclosed.  One of the justifications for the budget of intelligence agencies is Islamic extremism. Yet the same intelligence agencies have been behind the rise of Islamic extremism for decades now.

The United States is th eonly country in the world where the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, are not view as a consequences of U.S. policy. Yet the record shows that the al-Qaeda network might have not existed at all, had the United States not sponsored Islamic extremism in Afghanistan. This is commonly understood outside the United States. The memory lapse is  understandable. Once the U.S.-sponsored Islamic extremists had forced the Soviet Army out of Afghanistan in the late 1980s, the United States just forgot about the monster it created.

The violence of Islamism has roused anxious concern throughout the Muslim world.  In the United States, the media and policy makers wage a campaign to demonize Muslims and Islam as a threat to Western interests. This political motivated propaganda is tuned to the resistance to Israel occupation of Muslim lands. The anti-Islam bias sets a double standard: The U.S. Media condones Israel’s U.S.-financed violence – conducted on an enormous scale – while denouncing Arab resistence to it. The propaganda in the West suggests that violence and holoy war are inherent in Islam. The reality is that as a worldwide movement Jihad is a recent phenomenon. It is a modern, multinational conglomerate founded not so much by fanatic mullahs in Teheran as it is sponsored by governments including the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Historically, nearly all Muslim strugles of the 20th century were secular. 

For the average citizen of the West, the idea of the United States as The Sponsor of international terrorism would appear utterly incomprehensible. After all, one reads daily that the United States is leading the charge against something it calls terrorism, and it regularly assails its allies for dragging in response to terrorism.  The Western  misperception comes from an abuse of language. The powerful define terrorism to exclude their own acts. Washington arbitrarily designates any group or country which it opposes as terrorist, and this will be transmitted to the public by the mass media without laughter. 

“The War on Terrorism” was a semantic manipulation of the word “terrorism,” which is loosely defined, however it gave the government the extra power it has in time of war for an indeterminable amount of time. The Patriot Act, the invasive, controversial legislation was given a name that suggests anyone against it was “unpatriotic.” The slogan “Support the Troops” was seen everywhere, suggesting that if one was against the indefinable, unjust war that they were also against the troops. This again suggests opposers were “unpatriotic.” The best example may be that torture was renamed “enhanced interrogation.

The pre-eminent authority on the English language, the much-venerated Oxford English Dictionary, says:

Terrorism: A system of terror. 1. Government by intimidation as directed and carried out by the party in power in France during the revolution of 1789-94; the system of `Terror’. 2. gen. A policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized.


In its semantic manipulation of terrorism and related words, a number of devices are used to differentiate friends and self from terrorists. Perhaps the most insidious is to confine the use of the word terrorism to nonstate actors and actions; i.e., to define terrorism as the use of violence to oppose governments.  This departs from the standard and traditional usage, according to which terrorism is a mode of governing as well as of opposing governments by means of intimidation. In this context, it is curios that The State Department aserts that ISIS is not a terrorist organzation.

ISIS used to be called al-Qaida. It has been claimed that the CIA had ties with Osama Bin Laden‘s al-Qaeda and its “Afghan Arab” fighters when it armed Mujahideen groups against the Soviet Union during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

In a 2004 BBC article entitled “Al-Qaeda’s origins and links”, the BBC wrote:
During the anti-Soviet jihad Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA.[1]
Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary in the UK from 1997–2001, believed the CIA had provided arms to the Arab Mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden, writing, “Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan.” His source for this is unclear.[2]
In conversation with former British Defence Secretary Michael Portillo, two-time Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto said Osama bin Laden was initially pro-American.[3]Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, has also stated that bin Laden once expressed appreciation for the United States’ help in Afghanistan. On CNN’s Larry King program he said:[4]
Bandar bin Sultan: This is ironic. In the mid-’80s, if you remember, we and the United – Saudi Arabia and the United States were supporting the Mujahideen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets. He [Osama bin Laden] came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, he said the communists. Isn’t it ironic?
Larry King: How ironic. In other words, he came to thank you for helping bring America to help him.
Bandar bin Sultan: Right.
Former FBI translator and Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, interviewed by Brad Friedman on the The Mike Malloy Show on June 2009 has stated: “I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban – those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.
U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”,[7] and “simply a folk myth.”
One allegation not denied by the US government is that the U.S. Army enlisted and trained a cashiered Egyptian soldier named Ali Mohamed, and that it knew Ali occasionally took trips to Afghanistan, where he claimed to fight Russians.
New allegations have turned up that the United States and NATO have either unknowingly or knowingly been supporting al-Qaeda affiliates during the Libyan civil war and the current Syrian civil war.[26] Al-Qaeda affiliates account for 12,000 fighters in Syria and one affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, is part of the Islamic coalition which accounts for 59-75% of the rebels in Syria and plans a political transition to Sharia law post-Assad.[27][28] Turkey, a NATO member, has listed the Al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organization.  
The United States of America has at various times in recent history provided support to Terrorist paramilitary organizations across the world. It has also provided assistance to numerous authoritarian regimes that have used terror as a tool of repression.[1][2]
United States support to non-state terrorists has been prominent in Latin America, the Middle-East, and Southern Africa.[1] From 1981 to 1991, the United States provided weapons, training, and extensive financial and logistical support to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who used terror tactics in their fight against the Nicaraguan government.[3] At various points the United States also provided training, arms, and funds to terrorists among the Cuban exiles, such as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles.
Various reasons have been provided to justify such support. These including destabilizing political movements that might have aligned with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, including popular democratic and socialist movements.[4] Such support has also formed a part of the war on drugs.[2] Support was also geared toward ensuring a conducive environment for American corporate interests abroad, especially when these interests came under threat from democratic regimes.
Several scholars have accused the United States of conducting state terrorism. They have written about the liberal democracies and their use of state terrorism, particularly in relation to the Cold War. According to them, state terrorism was used to protect the interest of capitalist elites, and the U.S. organized a neo-colonial system of client states, co-operating with local elites to rule through terror. However, little of this work has been recognized by other scholars of terrorism or even of state terrorism.[1]
Notable works include Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman‘s The political economy of human rights (1979), Herman’s The real terror network (1985), Alexander L. George Western state terrorism (1991), Frederick Gareau’s State terrorism and the United States (2004) and Doug Stokes America’s other war (2005). Of these, Chomsky and Herman are considered the foremost writers on the United States and state terrorism. Noam Chomsky  said:
The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism. In fact, it’s doing it all over the world.  Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history:  the drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it […] All of these operations, they are terror operations.
***
People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them.  That’s not a surprise. Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to [American] acts of terror.
Experts agrees that indiscriminate drone strikes are war crimes (more here andhere).
Chomsky has previously extensively documented U.S. terrorism.  As Wikipedia notes:
Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.
***
They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.
***
In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.
The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – noted:
Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.
The former NSA and CIA agent Edward Snowden revealed that the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was trained in Israel, various Iranien sources reported. 



By Bill Gertz – Washington Free Beacon – – Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The CIA failed to provide adequate warning of the recent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant military incursion into Iraq despite having a significant presence of agency officers in the country, according to U.S. officials and security analysts.

Critics of the agency said the intelligence failure was made worse by a failure of the Obama administration to recognize the threat posed to the country by the ISIL, which last week renamed itself simply the Islamic State (IS) and declared its captured territory in Syria and Iraq is now a “caliphate.”

PHO

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/1/cia-blamed-iraq-intel-failure-isis-rise/#ixzz3AyRLW9bu


US and UK try to identify Isis militant with British accent

British and US security services were trying on Wednesday to identify the Islamic State (Isis) militant with a British accent who appeared in a video of the apparent beheading of a US journalist, James Foley.

The UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said intelligence agencies were trying to unmask the fluent English-speaking militant in the propaganda footage. Scotland Yard warned the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating the video within the UK might constitute a criminal offence under terrorism legislation. A spokesman said: “The Metropolitan police service counter terrorism command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley.”

Afzal Ashraf, of the Royal United Services Institute, said many of the estimated 500 British fighters in Syria and Iraq had criminal backgrounds in the UK so were likely to be known to police. Intelligence agencies would also be using linguistics technology to track down the man, he said.

Ashraf said the video was part of a “propaganda war” being waged by Isis. “There will be a minor effect on recruitment. It will affect a certain kind of psychopathic individual but it’s a very minority sport, fortunately.

“There will be far more people put off by these guys but there is a market for this sort of thing,” he said.

“The message that really motivates people is it’s a way of hitting back at what they perceive to be the US bullying and domination of the Muslim world. They feel impotent when they see the awesome US air and land power and they see this as a way of hitting back and that’s the principle motivation.”

Erin Saltman, a senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-terrorism thinktank, said the footage was geared towards disaffected Islamist extremists in the west who would be able to empathise with the British-accented militant.

“The video is quite a shock mainly because the two characters are an American and a Briton. That’s done very deliberately,” she said.

“As soon as you have a fighter with a Middle East accent it becomes very easy to disassociate with that and say they’re brutal, they’re barbaric. But when you have a British citizen, raised in the UK, this is somebody we can empathise with.”


18 August 2014

There is evidence in the public domain that the US and Saudi Arabia are behind the ISIS. ISIS used to be called Al-Qaida but that is not convenient anymore, it seems because it is clearly high treason to cooperate with Al-Qaida, Even in the US Media these facts were acknowledge when Obama was pondering invading Syria.

Tell your congressman that you are concerned about allegations that the US and/or its allies trained Islamic extremist in Jordan to fight the Syrian government. Ask how a bunch of young tugs can operate sophisticated high tech us supplied equipment without training, maintenance, and spear parts. Ask how Israel, with her paranoid arrogance and the best army and intelligence service in the World, allowed a military presence of the size of the ISIS to surge in her backyard. Ask who supplies the ammunition and money.

There are reasons, I guess, for people in power to play chess with the World, but at the end of the line what we have is psychopathic behavior and Power for the sake of Power. What we can do first of all is being informed and tell others at church, school, friends what is going on and tell government officials that you are aware and against blood for oil.

ISTANBUL | Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:34am EDT


(Reuters) – The rise of al Qaeda in parts of Syria’s north has left Turkey facing a new security threat on its already vulnerable border and raised questions about its wholesale support for rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has long championed more robust backing for Syria’s fractious armed opposition, arguing it would bring a quicker end to Assad’s rule and give moderate forces the authority they needed to keep more radical Islamist elements in check.

But with Islamist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) taking territory in parts of the north near the border in recent weeks, it is a strategy that increasingly looks to have been a miscalculation.



Ankara has found itself facing accusations that indiscriminate support for the rebels has allowed weapons and foreign fighters to cross into northern Syria and facilitated the rise of radical groups.

“We are being accused of supporting al Qaeda,” a source close to the Turkish government said, adding that U.S. officials had raised concerns on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York last month.

“They were politely but aggressively critical. The attention has focused away from Assad to al Qaeda,” the source said, echoing frustration voiced by other officials in Ankara that this was playing into Assad’s hands.

As if on cue, the Turkish army said on Wednesday it had fired on ISIL fighters over the border after a stray mortar shell hit Turkish soil. It has retaliated in the past in such cases but this appeared to be the first time its response had targeted al Qaeda-linked fighters.

Turkey has maintained an open-door policy throughout the two-and-a-half-year conflict, providing a lifeline to rebel-held areas by allowing humanitarian aid in, giving refugees a route out and letting the rebel Free Syrian Army organize on its soil.

It officially denies arming the rebels or facilitating the passage of foreign fighters who have swollen the ranks of al Qaeda-linked factions including ISIL and Nusra.

“Logistically nothing goes through the official borders in Turkey or any other country anyway,” said Louay Meqdad, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army.

But the 900 km (560-mile) border is difficult to police and refugees, smugglers and rebel fighters have been able to cross undetected in remote areas, bypassing the main crossing points.

“Officially we didn’t allow it. But it’s a long border and some groups, we tried to accommodate them in the Syrian opposition, which we wanted to be as large as possible,” said one Turkish official in the region, when asked whether foreign fighters had been able to cross.

Foreign mercenaries, mainly backed by Gulf states, were initially welcomed by Syria’s rebel forces because they had greater battle experience and were more effective against pro-Assad militias, he said.

“This was a tactical mistake and now we see a totally different balance of power.”


The Wall Street Journal recently revealed new details about how Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud — Saudi’s former ambassador to the United States — is leading the effort to prop up the Syrian rebels. Intelligence agents from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Jordan and other allied states are working at a secret joint operations center in Jordan to train and arm hand-picked Syrian rebels. The Journal also reports Prince Bandar has been jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime. “Really what he’s doing is he’s reprising a role that he played in the 1980s when he worked with the Reagan administration to arrange money and arms for mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and also worked with the CIA in Nicaragua to support the Contras,” says Wall Street Journal reporter Adam Entous. “So in many ways this is a very familiar position for Prince Bandar, and it’s amazing to see the extent to which veterans of the CIA were excited to see him come back because, in the words of a diplomat who knows Bandar, he brings the Arabic term wasta, which means under-the-table clout. You know his checks are not going to bounce and that he’ll be able to deliver the money from the Saudis.”
Watch Part Two of Interview, ‘U.S.-Russian Tensions Heighten over Syria; Roots of Conflict Stem from NATO Bombing of Libya


Israeli – U.S. Terror

excerpted from the book

Covert Action: the Roots of Terrorism

edited by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap

Ocean Press, 2003, paper

Israeli – U.S. Terror

Introduction by Ellen Ray and William H. Schaap

p121

For more than 35 years, the violent and bitter history of the Palestinian-lsraeli conflicts have centered around a history of collaboration between U.S. and Israeli military and intelligence services and their coincidence of interests. Israeli covert operations have backed up U.S. clandestine schemes, especially in the Middle East, but also in Central America, southern Africa and elsewhere in a global conquest in which U.S. domination has reached its apex under George W. Bush.

Ever since the discovery of vast, almost unimaginable oil reserves in the region, the overriding strategic objective of the United States in the Middle East has been access to and eventual control over that resource. And since its 1967 victory in the six-day war, when Israel established itself as the regional military superpower capable of aiding in this primary U.S. objective, massive U.S. foreign aid and subsidized weapons of war have ensured an Israeli-U.S. alliance with mutually expansionist agendas. Both want unfettered access to Arab oil and more.

The second U.S. imperative is its strategic partnership with Israel, a function of the power of the pro-lsrael lobby in the United States, exemplified by the ability of the American-lsrael Political Action Committee to influence congressional and even presidential elections. And the White House, State Department and Pentagon are riddled with insiders with dual loyalties, the belief that U.S. and Israeli interests are and should be, identical.

The quid pro quo for Israel, an extension of this objective, is the relative free play given to its own designs in the Middle East as a military force and an ever-expanding Zionist state.

The United States has given Israel virtually every sophisticated weapon system it has to offer, more than $18 billion in the last decade, with more than $2 billion in military aid slated for the next fiscal year (2003-4). As a further reward for cooperation in covert activities around the globe, the U.S. remained silent, if not actually assisted, Israel’s development and testing of its own nuclear weapons.

Although no significant policies of the Israeli Government could be implemented without the tacit concurrence of its U.S. benefactor, when it suits Washington’s rapacious oil policies, arrangements of convenience with Israel’s enemies were not precluded in the past. The United States (and Britain) supplied chemical and other weapons to Iraq during the Iraq-lran war, while covertly working with Israel to supply Iran.

And Israel has also conducted its own military intelligence operations against U.S. targets, such as the seemingly inexplicable Israeli bombing of the U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 war, a deliberate act apparently to prevent the U.S. communications ship from monitoring, perhaps disrupting its invasion and occupation of the Golan Heights. And, of course, each nation spies on the other; while Jonathan Pollard was caught and jailed, both countries have active operatives, collaborators and media assets in each other’s territory.

But no matter which regime may be in power in either country, both Israeli and U.S. campaigns plot the elimination of any viable, sovereign, Palestinian state. Together, their machinations of incremental negotiations followed by betrayal, assassination and invasion have imposed upon the Palestinians what Noam Chomsky called “a system of permanent neocolonial dependency.”

Brutal attacks on Palestinian civilians, collective punishment, obliteration of entire villages, mass forced expulsions, illegal settlement of occupied land including East Jerusalem, torture, terrorism, starvation and murder have been used by successive Israeli governments with U.S. approval.

Universal military conscription of Israeli youth thrusts young draftees into endless confrontations with Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories, ensuring an existential racial hatred in deliberately provocative “strategies of tension” and expansion, all in the name of a “fragile” Israeli state security. This while Israel has one of the most powerful and best-equipped armed forces in the world, the only nuclear power in the region.

Despite Israel’s control through the ClA-approved, Oslo-directed Palestinian Authority, the PA was locked in an endless cycle of repression and corruption through enforced collaboration with security committees run by the CIA and Israeli intelligence against the Palestinian people. Sharon’s campaign against its institutional infrastructure also included intentional killings of large numbers of Palestinian civilians through saturation bombings of refugee camps and villages and the homes of suspected terrorists (with no regard for the lives of innocent neighbors), aided by computerized targeting and the rounding up of thousands of Palestinian men and women and their families for planned expulsion.

The Palestinians themselves, dispersed and dispossessed and used as pawns by other Arab nations, have never been able to develop a united vision. There are Palestinian nationalists and socialists and there are Palestinian fundamentalists. The fostering of disunity and corruption within these factions-whether in the Occupied Territories or in exile-has been a major element in the U.S.-lsraeli targeting of the Palestinian national struggle by covert manipulation of Palestinian exiles and groups. In what was hardly a coincidence, during the early 1980s, while the United States actively encouraged an Islamic “Holy War” in Afghanistan, the Israelis infiltrated and supported a burgeoning Islamic fundamentalist movement, later allowing Islamic charities, religious schools and training sites to flourish, as their well-financed graduates countered the growing influence of Palestinian nationalists.

The occupation army’s control of land, travel, water, food and medicine intensified, even as Palestinians attempted to negotiate an ever-changing “peace process” with Israel. Orchestrated with the United States as a delaying tactic, this effectively prevented an independent Palestinian state. The Oslo accords achieved only greater Israeli control over the territories and the geometric expansion of armed, militant Zionist settlements entrenched in the West Bank and Gaza.

The plan for the gradual creation of an autonomous Palestine was transformed from a blueprint for a contiguous territory into a jigsaw puzzle divided by Jewish settlements, fortified access roads and innumerable security zones. The proposed map of Palestinian areas resembles the Bantustans of apartheid South Africa. Israeli tanks and troops poured into these tiny “cantons,” bombing and killing civilians at will. And Bush’s minimal support for such a state, conditioned upon “regime change” in the Palestinian Authority, may disappear altogether, as events suggest a Likud push towards a final ethnic cleansing.

Israeli State Terror

by Naseer Aruri
CAQ 1988

p126
Israeli State Terror

In his personal diary, which was published against the wishes of the Israeli establishment, former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett reveals that Israeli military operations against Arab civilian populations were designed to terrorize them and create fear, tension and instability. Sharett’s documentation shows that Israel’s territorial expansion (such as in the Suez in 1956) was facilitated by Israeli acts of provocation, which generated Arab hostility and created pretexts for intervention. For example, the attack by Israeli Army Unit 101 led by Ariel Sharon on the Palestinian village of Kibya in October 1953, causing numerous civilian casualties and destruction of homes, was condemned by Sharett. He writes, “[In the cabinet meeting] I condemned the Kibya affair that exposed us in front of the whole world as a gang of blood-suckers, capable of mass massacres regardless it seems, of whether their actions may lead to war.

More recent accounts by Israeli writers show how earlier acts of terrorism provided a historical background to adoption of a policy of state terrorism by Israel. Benny Morris’s explanation of the Palestinian exodus in 1948, based on state, military and Zionist archives, refutes the official Israeli version that the Palestinians bear responsibility for their own expulsion. An earlier work by Irish journalist Erskine Childers demonstrated that, contrary to the official Israeli version, there were no Arab radio broadcasts ordering the Palestinians to leave. And Israeli journalist Tom Segev reveals in his book how instrumental was Zionist terrorism in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. Sixteen months after 250 Arab civilians were massacred in the village of Deir Yassin (April 9, 1948) by the combined forces of ETZEL (known as Menachem Begin’s Irgun) and LEHI (known as Yitzhak Shamir’s Stern Gang) there was a debate in the Israeli set in which, according to Segev, a member of Begin’s Herut Party had boasted: “Thanks to Deir Yassin, we won the war.”

Another account by Lenny Brenner reveals that Israeli Prime Minister Shamir was a convert to the pro-Mussolini Betar (Zionist Brownshirts) in the late 1930s and that his Stern Gang had attempted to strike a deal with the Nazi regime in Germany in 1941 in which the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine on a “totalitarian basis” would be bound by a treaty with the German Reich.

Shamir’s commitment to right-wing causes and to terrorism was unmistakably revealed in an article he wrote in the LEHI journal Hehazit (The Front) in the summer of 1943. This excerpt stands in contrast to Shamir’s constant moralizing and condemnation of what he calls “PLO terrorism:”

Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat… [T]errorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier.

Shamir’s cabinet colleague Yitzhak Rabin who, as defense minister in charge of the occupied territories, proclaimed the policy of “might, force and blows” in January 1988 (which has so far resulted in an estimated 281 deaths, more than 50,000 injuries and 30,000 detentions) has also had a consistent record of terrorism for more than 40 years. As the deputy commander of Operation Dani, he, along with the late former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and the late former Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, were responsible for the expulsion of between 50,000 and 70,000 people from the towns of Lydda and Ramleh in July 1948. The town of Ramleh had surrendered without a fight after the withdrawal of the Jordan Army but the inhabitants were rounded up, expelled and told never to come back. Benny Morris characterized that as the “biggest expulsion operation of the 1948 war.” Rabin expressed empathy with “the great suffering inflicted upon” his men who caused the expulsion.

One of those expelled was a 13-year-old boy by the name of Khalil alWazir, later known as Abu Jihad. Yitzhak Rabin, who was responsible for that act as a member of the Zionist militia, was one of the inner cabinet decision-makers who decided, 40 years later, to assassinate al-Wazir far away from his home in Ramleh. The man who headed the inner cabinet, Yitzhak Shamir, told an inquirer who wanted to know who killed Abu Jihad, “I heard about it on the radio.”

It was typical of the official response to the killing; claims of ignorance, broad hints that Abu Jihad’s responsibility for the Palestinian uprising could only trigger that kind of response and the usual reference to a factional conflict within the Palestinian movement as being responsible for the assassination. In fact, the murder of Abu Jihad is the latest incident in a continuous pattern of Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders and intellectuals among whom are Karmal al-Adwan, Ghassan Kanafani, Kamal Nasser, Majid Abu Sharar, Abu Yurif and many others.

In a New York Times article summarizing the official Israeli interpretation of its own policies, Thomas Friedman maintains that Israel endeavors to “turn terror back on the terrorists.” This strategy has gone through several different stages. For the period of 1948-56 the strategy was described as “counterterrorism through retaliation or negative feedback” and was employed against Egypt and Jordan to prevent border crossings by Palestinian refugees attempting, in the main, to check on the conditions of their former homes.” By 1972, Israel was striking against “the nerve centers and the perpetrators themselves” using letter bombs, exploding cars and telephones and quiet assassinations of Palestinian leaders and intellectuals on the back streets of Europe. Later acts of terrorism including the destruction of entire villages in Lebanon, raids on Beirut, Baghdad and Tunis have become typical of Israeli policy towards Arab nonacceptance of its regional hegemony. Such acts have rarely evoked U.S. condemnation. In fact the Reagan Administration characterized Israel’s raid on the PLO headquarters in Tunis as an act of self-defense.

United States and Israel-A “Special” Relationship

Strategic cooperation between Israel and the United States was consummated between 1982 and 1988 and has dramatically elevated Israel’s role in U.S. global strategic calculation. By 1983, the Reagan Administration had accepted the Israeli view that the Palestine question was not the principal cause of instability in the Middle East. Henceforth, it would not be allowed to interfere in the “special relationship” between a superpower and its strategic ally.

In the special relationship between the United States and Israel, the latter is considered a “unique strategic asset. In the crucial Middle East, Israel is viewed as the cornerstone of U.S. policy, which is perceived as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and radical revolutionary transformation. Outside the Middle East, Israel has emerged as the most important supplier of the technology of repression, antiguerrilla training and infrastructure to combat revolution, all euphemistically phrased “counterterrorism.” Israel ranks as the fifth largest exporter of arms in the world, according to CIA estimates and it has become an essential component of the global counterinsurgency business. “Hit lists” used by the death squads in Guatemala have been computerized with Israeli assistance and the Uzi machine gun is the standard weapon of the death squads. The special relationship between the United States and Israel is a two-way street. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. economic and military aid and in return Israel has much to offer the United States. The Reagan Administration has publicly declared that Israel’s substantial experience and “success” in coping with terrorism should provide guidance for the United States. When George Shultz spoke at a New York synagogue in 1984 he said:

No nation has more experience with terrorism than Israel and no nation has made a greater contribution to our understanding of the problem and the best way to confront it. By supporting organizations like the Jonathan Institute, named after the brave Israeli soldier who led and died at Entebbe, the Israeli people have raised international awareness of the global scope of the terrorist threat… [T]he rest of us would do well to follow Israel’s example.

The fact that the United States and Israel are so closely allied and use the same criteria for defining who are “terrorists” and who are not, necessarily makes the United States a dubious participant in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel Shahak on the “Transfer Proposal”

by Ellen Ray
CAQ 1988

p135
Death Squads

… in Israel the use of death squads to murder Palestinians has been discussed in some of the Hebrew press. It was not employed in the occupied territories until about September or October 1987, when we had one very well-documented case in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli Hebrew press, three Palestinians were discovered dead, in a car. One of them was a Palestinian guerrilla who had escaped from prison. The two others were collaborators [Palestinians who work with or support the Israelis]-well-known, rich collaborators. One of them had established a branch of the Tel Aviv stock exchange in Gaza. The other was of a similar background. So you can understand that such people are neither guerrillas nor helpers of guerrillas.

power

Published on Aug 14, 2014 Far too many Americans are illiterate in power — what it is, how it operates and why some people have it. As a result, those few who do understand power wield disproportionate influence over everyone … Continue reading

Published on Aug 14, 2014
Far too many Americans are illiterate in power — what it is, how it operates and why some people have it. As a result, those few who do understand power wield disproportionate influence over everyone else. “We need to make civics sexy again,” says civics educator Eric Liu. “As sexy as it was during the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement.”

how can we fight an ideological war with weapons?

As a peaceful American Muslim, I would like to think I’m not that irrelevant

Nour Saman, the angry woman in the video, had her life destroyed by Muslim militias. Her hatred and intolerance of Muslims is understandable and even compelling. But what actual Islamic government is actually behind the growth and spread of Islamic extremism? That’s clearly Saudi Arabia. The 9-11 terrorists were Egyptian and Saudis supported by Saudi money. What governments are behind the rise of the Taliban? The Saudis provided money for indoctrination and the United States provided weapons and military training to use them as a weapon against the Russians in Afghanistan. When the Russians left Afghanistan the US just let the Taliban run amok. Yet while the US seeds hate against itself in Pakistan by drone killings, to this day Saudi Arabia and the United States continue to support Islamic extremism to use them as a weapon against Syria and Iran. This is a good reason to dislike Obama’s government.

Brigitte Gabriel (a.k.a. Nour Saman, born October 21, 1964), is an American journalist, author, social commentator and activist.[1][2] Gabriel says that Islam keeps countries backward,[3][4] and that it teaches terrorism.[5][6][7] To promote her views, she founded the American Congress For Truth and ACT! for America, a citizen action network that promotes “national security and the defense of American democratic values against the assault of Radical Islam.”[8]
She frequently speaks at American conservative organizations such as The Heritage Foundation, Christians United for Israel,Evangelicals and Jewish groups. In her own words, she gives voice to “what many in America are thinking but afraid to say out loud, for fear of being labeled a racist, bigot, Islamophobic, or intolerant.”
In her first book Gabriel discusses her experiences as a Maronite (Eastern Catholic) Christian living in Lebanon during the civil war in the 1970s.[26] She describes the story of her family and her childhood, hiding in a bomb shelter. She details her opinions that her country’s inherent multicultural acceptance of all faiths and cultures including the then dominant Lebanese Christian phalangists, led to Lebanon’s ruin by the continuous attacks from indigenous Muslims, other Christian groups and migrant Palestinians.[27]
Gabriel comments that “anyone who voices his or her opinion contrary to ‘politically correct think‘ is immediately tagged a “racist” or “bigot” and that this has resulted in a “social paranoia which discourages free thought and expression.”[28] Moreover, she states that societies and cultures must be held accountable for their actions and that “by not judging others… we have helped create the monsters we are dealing with today.”[29]
The book made The New York Times hardcover best seller list.[30] The introduction of the 2008 edition of Because They Hate claimed that the book was put on the reading list at the FBI Academy and that it was assigned as mandatory reading for Navy SEALs heading to the Middle East.
Gabriel is critical of Islam and believes that “the degraded state of Arab societies is caused by Islam”,[3] and that Arab Muslims are “lagging behind” because of social and religious values.[4] She considers “Islamic terrorists” simply as devout followers of Islam,[7]following an example set by Muhammad’s behavior.[5][6] According to the New York Times, she portrays radical Islam as “thoroughly bent on destruction and domination” and her message is anti-Islam.[1]
It is not politically correct to say that our Western societies are better than the Muslim Arab societies, but we are, we have been, and we always will be.
Because They Hate[33]
Stephen Lee, a publicist at St. Martins Press for Gabriel’s second book, has called her views “extreme”,[30] and Deborah Solomon of the New York Times Magazine, who interviewed Gabriel in August 2008, described her as a “radical Islamophobe“.[34] According to Clark Hoyt from The New York Times, over 250 people wrote in to protest that label in the days that followed.[30]
Gabriel is critical of Americans who “find all sorts of things wrong with America”, who “badmouth and put down our culture, government, and country”, while having “never experienced life in an oppressive culture or under an oppressive leadership such as is found in the Middle East.”[33] She believes that Americans should “acknowledge that our Western culture is better than others.”[29]
In viewing America as “a powerful and great nation” possessing “superior culture and values”, Gabriel sees the entitlements thatAmerican Western culture has bestowed through “the Judeo-Christian value system” and the ideals of the Founding Fathers, who “worked to establish rights for the individual, rights that did not exist under other forms of government at that time.”[35]
According to Gabriel, since Radical Islam views the destruction of Israel alongside the United States as “a parallel strategic objective”,[36] she therefore sees the survival of Israel as being of paramount importance as a vanguard of Western culture and as “the only Western-style nation in the Middle East, one that Arabs despise, feel threatened by, and vow to destroy.”[35]
In a symposium held in January 2009 titled “Homegrown Jihadis” by FrontPage Magazine, she stated Islam itself “promotes intolerance and violence”, and that “Moderate Muslims must organize and engage those enlightened, educated and westernized Muslims in the community to begin a dialogue to discuss the possibility of reform in Islam just as Christianity and Judaism have been reformed.”
Gabriel views the Arab–Israeli conflict as being “intractable because the Arab world refuses to accept the right of a Jewish state to exist.” This animosity, having once been rooted in Pan-Arabism has evolved, according to Gabriel, into the more sinister spectre of “radical Islamic supremacism” which now appears to seek “bigger game in the West.” She cites examples such as the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the rise of Hamas as bringing to the forefront radical Islamic ideologies that are rooted in “religious hatred, humiliation, and resentment” of Israel and the West.[38]
Gabriel believes this can be seen in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict where, in her view, Palestinian nationalism has largely been replaced by “holy obligation” motivating adherents to commit “terrorist murder.”[39] She states that the legitimization of Palestinian suicide attacks within Israel has now evolved to where, “Islamists believe that they may commit mass murder anywhere in the world to advance their holy cause.” As a result, she believes the world now suffers “from a plague of Islamic terrorism… authored and perfected by the Palestinians.”[40]
With regard to the two-state solution, Gabriel states: “Forcing Israel to accept a two-state solution is not going to work unless the Palestinians first are forced to clean up their act and eliminate hatred from their schoolbooks, teach tolerance to their people, and preach acceptance of Israel and the Jews as a neighbor.”[12]

Controversy at speaking engagements

When Gabriel was invited to speak as part of a lecture series organized by Duke University’s Jewish community in October 2004, many in attendance were angered by her referring to Arabs as “barbarians.” The Freeman Centre for Jewish Life at Duke University later apologized for her comments.[20] Following her speech at women’s campaign event for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa (JFO) in November 2008, many in attendance registered their protests, leading Mitchell Bellman, president and CEO of the JFO, to write a letter in which he acknowledged that Gabriel made, “unacceptable gross generalizations of Arabs and Muslims,” distancing his organization from her views.[34]
In 2007 at the Christians United For Israel annual conference, Gabriel delivered the following speech:
The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil [applause]…. this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic world, They have no soul, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call “Allah” which is very different from the God we believe….[applause] because our God is the God of love.
Christians United For Israel annual conference 2007[41]
This speech was subsequently criticised by journalist Bruce Wilson as being “hate speech” and stated that Brigitte Gabriel “paints a wide swath of humanity as subhuman”, comparing her to Goebbel’s Reich.[41]
In March 2011 while being interviewed by Eliot Spitzer on CNN, Gabriel defended the speech stating:
I was talking about how Palestinian mothers are encouraging their children to go out and blow themselves up to smithereens just to kill Christians and Jews. And it was in that context that I – that I contrasted the difference between Israel and the Arabic world, was the difference between democracy and barbarism.[42]
She further added:
How easily journalists, or people and comments especially now with the Internet age, can take few words and either paste them together or edit them together to basically express their own point of view.[42]

References to Nazi Germany are at best an indication of lack of arguments and at worst a scoundrel alarm. I do not want to apologize for Islam. I do believe religion is a bad thing. Islamic extremism is a problem for Muslim countries. Compare the angry diatribe to the courageous words of a girl fighting Islamic extremism at the risk of her life: http://arnulfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/malala-yousafzai/

The Heritage Foundation hosted a Benghazi panel on Monday that took a turn for the worse when a Muslim law student asked the panel a question about their portrayal of Islam as universally bad. Their answers, detailed in Dana Milbank’sWashington Post column,
it is perhaps not so surprising when you know that two of the Foundation’s panelists were Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America, and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Gabriel is a prominent anti-Sharia activist who is a regular commentator on Fox News. Gaffney is one of the architects of a conservative approach to national security that advocates for the profiling and surveillance of Muslim Americans.

As a peaceful American Muslim, I would like to think I’m not that irrelevant

Nour Saman, the angry woman in the video, had her life destroyed by Muslim militias. Her hatred and intolerance of Muslims is understandable and even compelling. But what actual Islamic government is actually behind the growth and spread of Islamic extremism? That’s clearly Saudi Arabia. The 9-11 terrorists were Egyptian and Saudis supported by Saudi money. What governments are behind the rise of the Taliban? The Saudis provided money for indoctrination and the United States provided weapons and military training to use them as a weapon against the Russians in Afghanistan. When the Russians left Afghanistan the US just let the Taliban run amok. Yet while the US seeds hate against itself in Pakistan by drone killings, to this day Saudi Arabia and the United States continue to support Islamic extremism to use them as a weapon against Syria and Iran. This is a good reason to dislike Obama’s government.

Brigitte Gabriel (a.k.a. Nour Saman, born October 21, 1964), is an American journalist, author, social commentator and activist.[1][2] Gabriel says that Islam keeps countries backward,[3][4] and that it teaches terrorism.[5][6][7] To promote her views, she founded the American Congress For Truth and ACT! for America, a citizen action network that promotes “national security and the defense of American democratic values against the assault of Radical Islam.”[8]
She frequently speaks at American conservative organizations such as The Heritage Foundation, Christians United for Israel,Evangelicals and Jewish groups. In her own words, she gives voice to “what many in America are thinking but afraid to say out loud, for fear of being labeled a racist, bigot, Islamophobic, or intolerant.”
In her first book Gabriel discusses her experiences as a Maronite (Eastern Catholic) Christian living in Lebanon during the civil war in the 1970s.[26] She describes the story of her family and her childhood, hiding in a bomb shelter. She details her opinions that her country’s inherent multicultural acceptance of all faiths and cultures including the then dominant Lebanese Christian phalangists, led to Lebanon’s ruin by the continuous attacks from indigenous Muslims, other Christian groups and migrant Palestinians.[27]
Gabriel comments that “anyone who voices his or her opinion contrary to ‘politically correct think‘ is immediately tagged a “racist” or “bigot” and that this has resulted in a “social paranoia which discourages free thought and expression.”[28] Moreover, she states that societies and cultures must be held accountable for their actions and that “by not judging others… we have helped create the monsters we are dealing with today.”[29]
The book made The New York Times hardcover best seller list.[30] The introduction of the 2008 edition of Because They Hate claimed that the book was put on the reading list at the FBI Academy and that it was assigned as mandatory reading for Navy SEALs heading to the Middle East.
Gabriel is critical of Islam and believes that “the degraded state of Arab societies is caused by Islam”,[3] and that Arab Muslims are “lagging behind” because of social and religious values.[4] She considers “Islamic terrorists” simply as devout followers of Islam,[7]following an example set by Muhammad’s behavior.[5][6] According to the New York Times, she portrays radical Islam as “thoroughly bent on destruction and domination” and her message is anti-Islam.[1]
It is not politically correct to say that our Western societies are better than the Muslim Arab societies, but we are, we have been, and we always will be.
Because They Hate[33]
Stephen Lee, a publicist at St. Martins Press for Gabriel’s second book, has called her views “extreme”,[30] and Deborah Solomon of the New York Times Magazine, who interviewed Gabriel in August 2008, described her as a “radical Islamophobe“.[34] According to Clark Hoyt from The New York Times, over 250 people wrote in to protest that label in the days that followed.[30]
Gabriel is critical of Americans who “find all sorts of things wrong with America”, who “badmouth and put down our culture, government, and country”, while having “never experienced life in an oppressive culture or under an oppressive leadership such as is found in the Middle East.”[33] She believes that Americans should “acknowledge that our Western culture is better than others.”[29]
In viewing America as “a powerful and great nation” possessing “superior culture and values”, Gabriel sees the entitlements thatAmerican Western culture has bestowed through “the Judeo-Christian value system” and the ideals of the Founding Fathers, who “worked to establish rights for the individual, rights that did not exist under other forms of government at that time.”[35]
According to Gabriel, since Radical Islam views the destruction of Israel alongside the United States as “a parallel strategic objective”,[36] she therefore sees the survival of Israel as being of paramount importance as a vanguard of Western culture and as “the only Western-style nation in the Middle East, one that Arabs despise, feel threatened by, and vow to destroy.”[35]
In a symposium held in January 2009 titled “Homegrown Jihadis” by FrontPage Magazine, she stated Islam itself “promotes intolerance and violence”, and that “Moderate Muslims must organize and engage those enlightened, educated and westernized Muslims in the community to begin a dialogue to discuss the possibility of reform in Islam just as Christianity and Judaism have been reformed.”
Gabriel views the Arab–Israeli conflict as being “intractable because the Arab world refuses to accept the right of a Jewish state to exist.” This animosity, having once been rooted in Pan-Arabism has evolved, according to Gabriel, into the more sinister spectre of “radical Islamic supremacism” which now appears to seek “bigger game in the West.” She cites examples such as the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the rise of Hamas as bringing to the forefront radical Islamic ideologies that are rooted in “religious hatred, humiliation, and resentment” of Israel and the West.[38]
Gabriel believes this can be seen in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict where, in her view, Palestinian nationalism has largely been replaced by “holy obligation” motivating adherents to commit “terrorist murder.”[39] She states that the legitimization of Palestinian suicide attacks within Israel has now evolved to where, “Islamists believe that they may commit mass murder anywhere in the world to advance their holy cause.” As a result, she believes the world now suffers “from a plague of Islamic terrorism… authored and perfected by the Palestinians.”[40]
With regard to the two-state solution, Gabriel states: “Forcing Israel to accept a two-state solution is not going to work unless the Palestinians first are forced to clean up their act and eliminate hatred from their schoolbooks, teach tolerance to their people, and preach acceptance of Israel and the Jews as a neighbor.”[12]

Controversy at speaking engagements

When Gabriel was invited to speak as part of a lecture series organized by Duke University’s Jewish community in October 2004, many in attendance were angered by her referring to Arabs as “barbarians.” The Freeman Centre for Jewish Life at Duke University later apologized for her comments.[20] Following her speech at women’s campaign event for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa (JFO) in November 2008, many in attendance registered their protests, leading Mitchell Bellman, president and CEO of the JFO, to write a letter in which he acknowledged that Gabriel made, “unacceptable gross generalizations of Arabs and Muslims,” distancing his organization from her views.[34]
In 2007 at the Christians United For Israel annual conference, Gabriel delivered the following speech:
The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil [applause]…. this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic world, They have no soul, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call “Allah” which is very different from the God we believe….[applause] because our God is the God of love.
Christians United For Israel annual conference 2007[41]
This speech was subsequently criticised by journalist Bruce Wilson as being “hate speech” and stated that Brigitte Gabriel “paints a wide swath of humanity as subhuman”, comparing her to Goebbel’s Reich.[41]
In March 2011 while being interviewed by Eliot Spitzer on CNN, Gabriel defended the speech stating:
I was talking about how Palestinian mothers are encouraging their children to go out and blow themselves up to smithereens just to kill Christians and Jews. And it was in that context that I – that I contrasted the difference between Israel and the Arabic world, was the difference between democracy and barbarism.[42]
She further added:
How easily journalists, or people and comments especially now with the Internet age, can take few words and either paste them together or edit them together to basically express their own point of view.[42]

References to Nazi Germany are at best an indication of lack of arguments and at worst a scoundrel alarm. I do not want to apologize for Islam. I do believe religion is a bad thing. Islamic extremism is a problem for Muslim countries. Compare the angry diatribe to the courageous words of a girl fighting Islamic extremism at the risk of her life: http://arnulfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/malala-yousafzai/

The Heritage Foundation hosted a Benghazi panel on Monday that took a turn for the worse when a Muslim law student asked the panel a question about their portrayal of Islam as universally bad. Their answers, detailed in Dana Milbank’sWashington Post column,
it is perhaps not so surprising when you know that two of the Foundation’s panelists were Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America, and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Gabriel is a prominent anti-Sharia activist who is a regular commentator on Fox News. Gaffney is one of the architects of a conservative approach to national security that advocates for the profiling and surveillance of Muslim Americans.

Corporate personhood

Corporations had been viewed as artificial persons for millennia, the debate over whether they should be afforded the same rights as humans had been raging long before the United States created, or the14th Amendment was adopted. The degree of permissible government interference … Continue reading

Corporations had been viewed as artificial persons for millennia, the debate over whether they should be afforded the same rights as humans had been raging long before the United States created, or the14th Amendment was adopted. The degree of permissible government interference in corporate affairs was controversial from the earliest days of the nation.

With the Industrial Revolution, the favored form for large businesses became the corporation as a mechanism to raise the large amounts of investment capital. The Civil War accelerated the growth of manufacturing and the power of the men who owned the large corporations. Businessmen such as Mark Hanna, sugar trust magnate Henry O. Havemeyer, banker J. P. Morgan, steel makers Charles M. Schwab and Andrew Carnegie, and railroad owners Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould created corporations which influenced legislation at the local, state, and federal levels as they built businesses that spanned multiple states and communities. After the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868, there was some question as to whether the Amendment applied to other than freed slaves, and whether its protections could be invoked by corporations and other organizations of persons.

Corporations as legal entities have always been able to perform commercial activities, similar to a person acting as a sole proprietor, such as entering into a contract or owning property. Therefore corporations have always had a ‘legal personality’ for the purposes of conducting business while shielding individual shareholders from personal liability (i.e., protecting personal assets which were not invested in the corporation).

Corporate personhood is the legal concept that a corporation may be recognized as an individual in the eyes of the law. This doctrine forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution. The doctrine does not grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens. In Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining Co. v. Pennsylvania – 125 U.S. 181 (1888), the Court clearly affirmed the doctrine, holding, “Under the designation of ‘person’ there is no doubt that a private corporation is included [in the Fourteenth Amendment]. Such corporations are merely associations of individuals united for a special purpose and permitted to do business under a particular name and have a succession of members without dissolution.”[2] This doctrine has been reaffirmed by the Court many times since.

As a matter of interpretation of the word “person” in the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. courts have extended certain constitutional protections to corporations. Opponents of corporate personhood seek to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit these rights to those provided by state law and state constitutions.

The basis for allowing corporations to assert protection under the U.S. Constitution is that they are organizations of people, and the people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively.[5] In this view, treating corporations as “persons” is a convenient legal fiction which allows corporations to sue and to be sued, provides a single entity for easier taxation and regulation, simplifies complex transactions which would otherwise involve, in the case of large corporations, thousands of people, and protects the individual rights of the shareholders as well as the right of association.

Generally, corporations are not able to claim constitutional protections which would not otherwise be available to persons acting as a group. For example, the Supreme Court has not recognized a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for a corporation, since the right can be exercised only on an individual basis.

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010, upholding the rights of corporations to make political expenditures under the First Amendment, there have been several calls for a U.S. Constitutional amendment to abolish Corporate Personhood, Ralph NaderPhil Radford and others have argued that a strict originalist philosophy should reject the doctrine of corporate personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment.

A central point of debate has been what role corporate money plays and should play in democratic politics. This is part of the larger debate on campaign finance reform and the role which money may play in politics.

The corporate personhood aspect of the campaign finance debate turns on Buckley v. Valeo (1976) and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010): Buckley ruled that political spending is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech, while Citizens United ruled that corporate political spending is protected, holding that corporations have a First Amendment right to free speech. Opponents of these decisions have argued that if all corporate rights under the Constitution were abolished, it would clear the way for greater regulation of campaign spending and contributions. It should be noted, however, that neither decision relied on the concept of corporate personhood, and the Buckley decision in particular deals with the rights of individuals and political committees, not corporations.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), (Docket No. 08-205), is a US constitutional law case, in which the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations,associations, or labor unions. The conservative lobbying group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”).[2] In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.

The decision reached the Supreme Court on appeal from a July 2008 decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Section 203 of BCRA defined an “electioneering communication” as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions. The lower court held that §203 of BCRA applied and prohibited Citizens United from advertising the film Hillary: The Movie in broadcasts or paying to have it shown on television within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primaries.[1][3] The Supreme Court reversed, striking down those provisions of BCRA that prohibited corporations (including nonprofit corporations) and unions from making independent expenditures and “electioneering communications”.

In Citizens United the Court confidently declared, “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” And for skeptics who thought otherwise, the Court provided this additional assurance: “The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.”

In 2012 the Justices overturned a century-old Montana law that prohibited corporate spending in Montana state’s elections.

On march 2014 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sebelius v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v Sebelius. These two consolidated cases concern Obamacare’s “contraceptive mandate”—the requirement that businesses offering their employees health insurance must provide plans that cover all federally-approved contraception methods at no extra cost to their employees.

Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties are both owned by Christians who believe that some of those contraceptive methods are tantamount to abortion, because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. The owners seek an exemption to the contraceptive mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a statute that Congress passed almost unanimously in 1993. This says that “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability”, unless the law is the least restrictive way to further a compelling state interest.

To summarize, the US judiciary thinks that corporations should have speech rights because they are basically associations of people. This view overlooks the fact that corporations are instruments with a very specific purpose, to make money.  In fact, many social ills created by corporations stem directly from corporate law. The law actually inhibits executives and corporations from being socially responsible. A provision in corporate law says the purpose of the corporation is simply to make money for shareholders. Every jurisdiction where corporations operate has its own law of corporate governance. But remarkably, the corporate design contained in hundreds of corporate laws throughout the world is nearly identical. That design creates a governing body to manage the corporation, usually a board of directors, and dictates the duties of those directors. In short, the law creates corporate purpose. That purpose is to operate in the interests of shareholders.

Of course there are people behind corporations, however, one of the main purposes of corporations is to shield people from responsibility of what the corporation do. While it is true that what guide corporations  is the human activity of their executives, boards of directors, managers and employees, all the human emotional factors of the people in the corporation pass through a “filter” created by the basic rule of maximizing profit. A corporation is a complex machine, and as it grows, its actions get more detached from the values of the founders. Wal-Mart a clear example of this. When Sam Walton was alive there probably was some truth on the saying that the Wal-Mart Way was the American Way; Nowadays is the cheap slave  labor Chinese way.

Corporations are big machines that should not go amok, the same way a train engine needs tracks. Free market is not restrain enough, specially when there is such an concentration of wealth and power and a few oligopolies control everything. In practice, corporations are powerful enough that they control government, not the other way, and is a moot point to discuss government regulations. Nonetheless one should be at least aware of the manipulations of public opinion and values.

Small family business might show some correlation between their behavior and the values of the shareholders. But the modern large corporation, the one that we, the people, the flesh and blood people, should consider, is an amoral entity, i.e., not governed by human moral values. It lacks guilt for what it does, or empathy for those it harms.  A corporation  can function beyond the natural limits that govern humans. A corporation doesn’t die with its originator. Corporations can’t feel pain. A corporation cannot be  imprisoned. One might give corporations the rights of a human being, but not similar responsibilities.

Like Frankenstein´s monster, corporations do have a life of their own, beyond the wishes, expectations or actions of their founders. Corporations are at their most nefarious as a living entity, bound on survive and thrive at all cost. The modern corporation is particularly dangerous because of its great concentration of money, power, and political influence–which it uses freely to reach its goals.

Even more, if it is granted that corporations reflect the interest and values of their owners, and there are a few extremely wealthy and powerful, that gives this few undue advantage to impose their interests on the majority.

It is a fact of life that the winner of elections for public office, specially the presidency, can be predicted on the bases of the amount spends on the campaigns.  The news media coverage in the United States is of very low quality, heavily biased towards the interests of the plutocracy. Extending the rights and prerogatives of big corporations is in practice the end of democracy.

 

In 2010, after the Supreme Court declared that corporations have the same rights as individuals when it comes to funding political campaigns, Murray Hill took what it considers the next logical step: declaring for office.

“Until now, corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence-peddling to achieve their goals in Washington,” the candidate, who was unavailable for an interview, said in a statement. “But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves.”

William Klein, a “hired gun” who has been enlisted as Murray Hill’s campaign manager, said the firm appears to be the first “corporate person” to run for office and is promising a spirited campaign that “puts people second, or even third.”

A stunt, but how far should the corporate personhood metaphor go?

Zeitgeist

Submission Guidelines & Tips

All submissions should be your original work. Please do not simply copy/paste information (online articles, links, etc.) and submit it as-is. (Excerpts from, or links to, other material may be used within the article, and should be cited appropriately.)
Writing Guidelines (click to see examples):
Announcement — General announcements, major events, procedural or structural changes, etc. concerning the Movement as a whole.
Chapter Update — This should be used by Chapter Coordinators (or those whom they have designated) to submit status reports and announcements related to their specific chapter.
Editorial — An editorial is a written work that generally presents the opinion or view of the author or publishing entity. Technically, there is no minimum length for an Editorial, but it should be long enough to effectively communicate your position to the reader. Try not to make it so long that your readers lose interest before they even get through it. Most editorials are around 1-2 pages long, single-spaced.
Media Project — If you have a work of art such as a comic/ drawing, poem, song, etc. that you’d like to share, please submit it to The Zeitgeist Media Project. Material submitted to that site will be periodically published on the Blog, under this category.
Meeting Minutes — In addition to the recordings, at least one person per meeting should take Notes and post them here in a fairly neat and structured format, sometime after the meeting is over. The basic info should include:
-Date and time of the meeting
-The purpose of the meeting (Agenda)
-Meeting coordinator(s)
-Assigned action items and people assigned
-Any decisions and/or changes made
-A link to the audio and/or video recording (If there is no recording, please specify.)
News Article — A purely factual submission based on news reports and relevant events around the world, as opposed to an Editorial, which includes the opinion/view of the author.
Narrative — An original story based on relevant events, experiences, etc. that may be true or fictional.
Press Release — A general statement, typically in response to a major event, that is published on behalf of the entire Movement. Click here for detailed instructions on how to properly write and format a Press Release.
Project Update — This entry is pertinent for keeping members of the Movement updated on any new projects that are developing, as well as existing projects as they progress. Submit a Project Update any time you or your peers/ teammates begin a new project, or make any progress, breakthroughs, major changes, etc. to an existing one. Be sure to check these entries regularly before starting a new project to ensure that there is not already one in place that you can simply join. This will hopefully help alleviate any scattered or diluted efforts, and instead combine them into strong, streamlined projects and teams. (We may want to consider including an RSS feed that links to all the individual project team PMS sites. That way the people from those teams will only have to update one site, their PMS site, and it will feed onto the newsletter site automatically.)
Participation Guidelines:
Please remain courteous and constructive when posting content or comments.
For information on how your participation affects your karma, please read the Comment moderation FAQ.
—————–Helpful Tips for Getting Your Submission(s) Approved:——————-
Please note that these are by no means requirements, but your careful consideration of these factors will not only assist the Editors in sorting through boat loads of material, but will also give our readers, and ultimately the Movement as a whole, a greater sense of community and rapport, as well as improving the overall Blog experience.
Use your real name: We want to be able to share your content with the world, including third-party organizations when applicable, perhaps even for further publishing on other mediums. It’s more feasible to do that when we are recommending an article by John Smith, Dr. Jane Doe, or Betty Sue, than if we have to recommend an article by “Cupcake” or “JRider” with no background or reliable method to contact him or her, assuming it is a “him,” or assuming it is a “her.”
Update your profile information: It might give Editors (and your readers 😉 a better understanding of your material if they have even a minimal background on who you are. The general blog community might be eager to share an amazing piece of work written by Betty Sue the aquarist, or Bob Jones the carpenter… rather than a random article written by an anonymous stranger. Readers may be more likely to subscribe to your Blog’s RSS feed (found on the Site Map) and “follow” you or your activity. You can create a well-deserved presence for yourself and your material in the blog community.
Use your real photo: Same as above. We are trying to build a community and we can’t do that without building relationships. In fact, we’re striving for a social system that will one day facilitate global empathy, meaning the whole world is the community. People generally remember, or at least distinguish, names and faces better than icons and aliases. More importantly, people connect with names and faces better than generic visuals and inanimate labels. The next time someone has an idea for a project, they’ll probably remember to contact “Billy Johnson with the red hat, smiling kind of crooked” for help – much better than they’ll remember “Alex1988 with a sunflower, or was it a rainbow, or a Skittle, or… what was it again? Something with colors. I think twelve other people had the same icon…” (We don’t know anyone who has the same face as you. Do you? 😉
Provide sources: The members of the Newsletter Team, while extremely dedicated, only have but so much time on their hands to fact check everything so that we don’t get burned for publishing something that’s inaccurate. If you provide links and sources to back up whatever it is that you’re talking about, you’ve saved us a lot of work. Not to mention your article will be just plain awesome, and more enjoyable for the reader. People will be saving it in their favorites for future reference… just wait and see. You may also want to provide convenient hyperlinks to any organizations, events, etc. that you may be mentioning in your article. (When possible, don’t forget to use the ‘Insert/edit link’ tool to hyperlink the words themselves, so it looks nice and neat without all of that ugly URL formatting.) For example:
– You can learn more about this by viewing Peter Joseph’s lecture. – OR –
– You can learn more about this by viewing Where Are We Going, a great lecture by Peter Joseph.
…instead of…
– You can learn more about this by watching Peter Joseph’s lecture, Where Are We Going.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxPPnCW6sMo
(Once or twice is fine, but scattered randomly throughout the entire article, not so much…)
Take pride in your work: Comb through it for spelling and grammatical errors. Yes, we have a proof-reading team in place for that, but don’t be so sure it will even make it to proofing if we can’t understand it. If the content is unclear or the meaning is lost, due to poor spelling and/or grammar, it may get rejected by Editors beforehand. Most likely, if the content is excellent, but the spelling and grammar needs work, Editors may send it back to you for clarification or improvement. However, the bottom line is, with the amount of submissions that will be coming in, it’s far more productive to publish polished submissions that require the least amount of additional work, and perhaps get to the other stuff later.
Spice it up: Nobody likes a bland article. Don’t forget to upload a thumbnail image for your submission, and feel free to add any images throughout the body that may enhance the reader’s experience. (Okay, don’t get too crazy. Keep the images relevant, and placed neatly (resized if needed) so that we can still read your lovely submission without having a seizure.) You may also add a video if applicable. Granted, the written content itself may be as “colorful” as can be, but it’s usually the imagery that initially draws people in to read it in the first place. Get creative, and remember, images from The Zeitgeist Media Project are available for anyone to use for free. 🙂
(Ooh, look! See what we did there, with the hyperlink? 😉
Carefully categorize your content: When filling out the submission form, don’t ignore the drop-downs. (They’re there for a reason. 😉 Even if you’re stumped, please try your best to accurately choose the submission ‘Type’ that best describes your work, and the ‘Category’ that it most closely relates to. It’s much more difficult (and time-consuming) for Editors to sort through and approve a bunch of generic items submitted as “Other,” than it is for them to pinpoint content for what it is, and go from there. Similarly, if it is in fact an “Other” (something that’s not listed in the drop-down), go ahead and categorize it as “Other” and don’t fudge it to be a “Press Release” or “Project Update,” because if it isn’t one, Editors will probably assume that you don’t actually know how to write a Press Release, or that your so-called “Project” doesn’t make any sense, and reject it. Always choose a Location when applicable, and don’t forget to add tags.
That’s all for now, but we may add more Helpful Tips as they arise. Happy Blogging!
Sincerely,
The Zeitgeist Movement Newsletter/Blog Team

Be sure to check out this 220 page Source Guide below which sources virtually everything. As requested by Zeitgeist creator Peter Joseph, I have replaced the original Zeitgeist movie with well over 1.25 million views with this updated for 2010 version. The meat and potato’s of it are the same, there’s some new information and the quality of it is improved upon.

Link to source guide:

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/Zeitgeist,%20The%20Movie-%20Companion%20Guide%20PDF…

https://signup.netflix.com/Movie/Zeitgeist-Moving-Forward/70225009?country=1&..

Zeitgeist (German pronunciation: [ˈtsaɪtɡaɪst] ( listen)) is “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.” [1]Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.

The term is a loanword from German Zeit – “time” and Geist – “spirit” (cognate with English “ghost”).

The concept of Zeitgeist goes back to Johann Gottfried Herder and other German Romanticists, such as Cornelius Jagdmann, but is best known in relation to Hegel‘s philosophy of history. In 1769 Herder wrote a critique of the work Genius seculi by the philologist Christian Adolph Klotz and introduced the word Zeitgeist into German as a translation of genius seculi (Latin: genius – “guardian spirit” and saeculi – “of the age”).


-The Zeitgeist Movement, defined:

The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is an explicitly nonviolent, global sustainability advocacy group currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters across 70 countries. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events.

In short, the Chapters are essentially what define The Movement in operation. Each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, rational, practical solutions we have at our disposal to update (and evolve) our current social system, enabling a truly responsible, sustainable, global society to emerge for the betterment of all the world’s people.

TZM’s education and community projects seek the intermediate goal of obtaining a unified, worldwide movement for social transformation, regardless of country, religion, political party or any such traditionally divisive distinction. TZM recognizes a common, logical value identification pertaining to our survival, sustainability and public health which inherently transcends such culturally divisive issues. Human unification, rationalized out our inalterable, shared “common ground”, is a foundational premise.

From that understanding, a self-organizing Train of Thought with respect to how we can technically (and culturally) accomplish a new social system unfolds. The various stages of this transformation (“Transition”) is not something that can be readily predicted given the uncertain state of the world today and it is not the scope of this document to expand upon the issue. What we do know is that we are experiencing great destabilization in the world due to the inherent flaws of our current social structure and the problems emerging appear to be only getting worse as time goes on. It is from this uncertainty and loss of confidence in the current model that support for a new social system might be achieved, in part.

Therefore, The Movement’s work is to expand upon this Train of Thought and publicly communicate the resulting ideas, structures and methods with the goal of establishing a new cultural “zeitgeist”; hence a new, workable social model and common value system that ensures our socio-evolutionary fitness, our safety, our freedom, our quality of life and our prosperity.

-Your Role:

To become involved in The Movement does not require any monetary contribution, submission of personal information, forms to complete or any such traditional notion of membership. Volunteer organizers and Coordinators keep no databases outside of our simple web-based mailing lists which one is certainly encouraged to register with for updates.

TZM is modeled as a “see through” entity which merely represents a Data Set & Train of Thought at its core. It is holographic and decentralized in structure to assure its effect and warrant against historically notable problems of group identification. TZM has no offices, no location, no leaders, no benefactors and no static affiliations. This Movement is really about your personal understanding of the world along with how much you identify with the observations, logical inferences and solution oriented Train of Thought denoted in The Movement’s materials. If you agree with this need to change our system, please join a Chapter, learn, educate and help contribute.

TZM currently has many community projects, events and publications, as will be explained in this document. There is also a great deal of flexibility and creativity in how a person, group or Chapter chooses to engage and develop new ideas. The Movement is emergent in form and while, again, a basic Train of Thought persists, the tactics and specifics of the Movement’s work will inevitably undergo change.

In summery, we all have the same role here: To educate ourselves; educate others; create an organized critical mass and establish tactics to enable a transition to a new social design – a design which is arrived at in form by way of The Scientific Method.

As will be mentioned later in this document, a public, open-source project known as the Global Redesign Institute will exist to create and promote direct technical design changes for social organization, building upon the most advanced understandings in the fields of Science and Technology we have at the time.

-Educational Resources:

Since 2009, a great deal of data has been generated and output through various communication mediums. Radio Shows, PDFs, Films Presentations, Articles & Lectures are the most common (our information is always free). For someone new to TZM, the following list contains suggested references for review:

2012 ORIENTATION GUIDE This is a detailed summation of virtually all relevant points for TZM. It exists in Video and expanded PDF form, the latter of which contains extensive sources and appendices.

[ http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/orientation ]

WEBSITE FAQ TZM Global’s FAQ answers various questions, including Movement Structure specifics.

[ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq#faq1 ]

LECTURES & “TOOL KIT” The Global Website’s ever emerging “Tool Kit” contains many video and text presentations, often with extended sources and references as well. While this content is predominantly in English at this time, many other Non-English presenters operate across the world can be found via the Internet. Please search for your local International Chapter’s Website and review their media as well. http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/tool-kit

Apart from these core sources, community development is large and there is always an ongoing flow of information occurring via the TZM Official Blog, Zeitnews and other participatory mediums that will be discussed in Part 3 of this guide.

-Movement Participation:

A “Member” is loosely defined as one who agrees with the tenets and approach of TZM and in turn participates in their local Chapter’s awareness actions, whether online or local. However, all Members of The Movement have their education about relevant issues as the number one requirement to proceed.

To reiterate, true “Membership” is really a subscription to the Train of Thought at hand. Hence, it is about understanding and supporting The Movement’s logical tenets and working in whatever way one can to bring about awareness and change in a responsible, strategic and nonviolent manner. More specifically, one’s communication and personal skills are important to consider here. Generally speaking, personal specialization of focus has a symbiotic social role as a characteristic of our “Group Mind”, if you will. In other words, some of us are good at some things and others are good at other things. It is the collaboration of our unique skills and interests that creates the larger order realizations. Finding your place in TZM is unique to you and your skill set.

For example, if you feel you have broad organisational skills, working with or becoming a Regional Coordinator for your Chapter might be of interest. If you are technically inclined with a background in Engineering or the like, The Global Redesign Institute might be a comfortable place. If you find your skills are more communicative and artistic, The Zeitgeist Media Project and/or Media Festival might be a good place to contribute. If you are a skilled writer and researcher, joining and contributing focused articles to TZM’s Blog might be of interest. If you are a good public speaker, give presentations at your Monthly Town Halls and/or ZDay in your region on relevant subjects. You get the idea. Focus on what you are good at.

*

2- Joining a Chapter

-Overview:

Very simply, TZM Chapters are regional Zeitgeist Movement Member Groups, organized in Tiers. From “Top to Bottom”, the current Chapter Tiers are:

International—[ Countries ]
State/Province—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given Country ]
City/Town—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given State or Province ]

As noted before, your involvement with your Regional Chapter is what essentially defines you as a Member of The Movement in form. You can go to the Global Website [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/ ] to see the Current Top Tier Chapter list [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters ]. You can access the respective State (USA) or International Website and from there you should be able to locate the closest sub-chapter near you.

If you cannot find a Country, State or City Chapter for your region, it is then suggested you start one. Virtually all chapters have begun not by appointment, but by personal initiative. A simple review process to understand the seriousness and understanding of the applicant is assessed by existing Coordinators on a per case basis.

-Public Actions:

There are three reoccurring Public Actions for Chapters which are encouraged but naturally contingent upon the size and resources of the group: (1) Our annual “Zday” event; (2) our monthly “Town hall” event and (3) the annual Zeitgeist Media Festival. These will be discussed more in Part 4. However, each region also often has different community customs and possibilities. For example, in Los Angeles California, beach tent “vendor” posts are common on the boardwalk.

In Canada, many do street activism on a person to person basis. Some Chapters even host their own internet radio shows and produce their own media/newsletters based on custom research.

Part of working with your Chapter is being creative and explorative. In the end, the basic goal is still the same: Expose the root problems of our current system and then show the logic behind a new one.

-Meetings:

Chapters naturally need to have the ability to enable communication among its Members, along with other Chapters. As a Chapter grows, periodic Meetings should be conducted in live and/or virtual (online) settings.

TZM Global provides an Internet-Based Voice/Chat program which can be found here: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/teamspeak

Chapter Meetings typically occur in Tiers with Chapter Coordinators on their respective level. For example, the North Carolina State Chapter, assuming no sub-chapters (city) within it, would have a meeting with all NC Members present. However, in the meetings of the next largest Tier, the Country level (USA in this case), there would only be Coordinators of each State, not all the USA Members. This narrowing is for the sake of comprehension as it would be too difficult to have Global Meetings with tens of thousands of Members at once.

-Questions: If you have a question relating to Chapter Organization which is not answered in the follow links: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters

You may email directly via the Contact Form on this page: (select “Chapters” category): http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/contact-us

*

3- Websites, News & Project Contribution

Apart from signing up with the Global and Regional Mailing lists, there is a wealth of emerging information outlets and interactive mediums. These Websites and Projects are community driven, always free and have proven to be extremely effective. Most items noted below can be found via the Global Website’s home page as well.

-TZM Official Blog: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Member contribution via TZM Blog is a very effective way to give you, your chapter and important issues exposure. Many categories of interest from Economics, History, Science and Activism enable a tremendous platform for expression as an online newsletter and blog. Relevant articles that gain popularity also are highlighted via our Press Releases.

Please see the How-To Guide to start contributing: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/contribute

-TZM Global Radio: Started in 2009, TZM Global Radio is a Weekly Radio program presented by various coordinators/lecturers of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. It is here where ongoing public updates, news and announcements occur. Each Show occurs at 4pm Eastern Standard time every Wednesday via BlogTalkRadio.com: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

Info and Archive Page: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/radio_shows

Older Archives: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

*Note: While the Global Radio Show is the most conclusive, other programs of great merit also exist, including Programs via the “Zeitgeist Broadcasting Network” (ZBN): http://www.stickam.com/zbnlive

-Zeitgeist Media Project: http://zeitgeistmediaproject.com/ The Zeitgeist Media Project is an online hub for Artistic Media Content which can be uploaded and shared. The media types range from Video, Visual Art, Music/Audio, Literature and more. This content is mostly Creative Commons and is designed to be downloaded and used by other members in their work.

-ZeitNews: http://www.zeitnews.org/

Started in 2010. Zeitnews is an amazing source for advanced Scientific Research. Subjects of interest include Energy, Transportation, Biotechnology, Robotics and other important issues that relate science and technology to human prosperity.

Members may also contribute to the online publication: http://www.zeitnews.org/about/

-Global Redesign Institute: http://www.globalredesigninstitute.org/

The Global Redesign Institute is a Think Tank project currently in development. This advanced concept will create a virtual projection, region by region of what an accurate and up to date social infrastructure would comprise, sidestepping the traditionally inhibiting factors of money and establishment preservation. This project is about designing and expressing what is technically possible – not what is “affordable”. More on this project will be announced when it becomes operational.

-”Why I Advocate” Campaign: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/why-i-advocate

The Zeitgeist Movement’s “Why I Advocate TZM” Media Testimonial Campaign is a video blog project which gives personal perspectives and faces to The Zeitgeist Movement. This is very simple. Members simple make a public video about why they feel the need to change the world and identify with The Zeitgeist Movement. This is also a good way to show community support in general.

Current submissions can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=why+I+advocate+zeitgeist&aq=f

-Social Networks: TZM Global Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Twitter: http://twitter.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TZMOfficialChannel

Apart from the traditional Social Networks listed above, a hybrid project known as “TZM Social” has also emerged: http://www.tzmnetwork.com/

All members are encourage to review and contribute to these social mediums considering how powerful they have become culturally as a whole. Also, Regional Chapters and Projects are encouraged to initiate their own Networks via these medium for their own promotional purposes. ( I.E. a Youtube account assigned to your local chapter for display of your Town Halls, Zday events and the like.)

*

4- TZM Events and Activism

As noted prior, Chapters and hence Members have a few core (Global) periodic actions which are encouraged. These include, ZDay, ZMedia Fest and Monthly Town halls. Paired with these actions is our ZDrive food bank support and similar resource charity programs to help those in need. (more below*)

-Zeitgeist Day (“ZDay”): http://zdayglobal.org/

“Zeitgeist Day”, or ZDay for short, is an annual, global event day which occurs in the middle of March, each year. The goal is to increase public awareness of The Zeitgeist Movement. A Zeitgeist Day event can take many forms, ranging from a simple showing of DVD media; to full lectures and interactive question-and-answer events with Chapter Organizers in various regions. The 2010 ZDay there were 330 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide.

Each year, there is a “Main Event” which serves as a highlight, with more publicly notable speakers and guests. In 2009 and 2010, the Main event was in NYC; In 2011 it was in London, UK & in 2012 – Vancouver BC.

Please review the Official ZDay Website for more information: http://zdayglobal.org/

-Town Halls: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

The Zeitgeist Movement’s Town Hall Meetings are live, public events conducted by Official Regional Chapters. These localized events are similar in function to our annual global “Zeitgeist Day” (ZDAY) events but ideally occur monthly, rather than annually. Modelled after patterns proven effective by civil right’s movements historically, the goal is to inform the public of TZM’s understandings and goals and hence grow awareness and membership. To learn more; submit an event for your regions, please see: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

-Zeitgeist Media Festival: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/

Recognizing the power of art and media to help change the world, “The Zeitgeist Media Festival” engages the artistic community and its power to change values. It proposes that needed changes in the structural/economic workings of society can only manifest in tandem with a personal/social transformation of values in each of us. While intellectual knowledge serves its role of showing the path, many in the world follow their feelings- not the knowledge. The Zeitgeist Media Festival hopes to bridge those levels, while also illuminating a focus where changing and improving the world is no longer considered a fringe or suspect pursuit.

Participating in The Media Festival does not mean each event must meet some strict requirement of focus. However, participation does require that each act understand and agree with a general train of thought with respect to human and social sustainability.

The Zeitgeist Media Festival occurs in the Summer of each year. More info: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/site/index-1.html

-*ZDrive: The Zeitgeist Movement’s Charity Drive or “ZDrive” is a program to engage local social service institutions in conjunction with ongoing awareness events. The most common have been our Food Drives and Clothes Drives. For example, the Zeitgeist Media Festival Globally raised via donation about 12,000 meals for the poor in 2011. Resource donations are encouraged more than monetary contributions to avoid corruption.

How you conduct your ZDrive is contingent upon your region and its needs. Typically, a suggested donation of resources is welcomed upon entry to your event, such as the bringing of canned food for your local Food Bank. Since each region has different programs, it is suggested you contact your local charities to see how your Chapter can help.

So, if possible, every time you have a ZDay, Town Hall or Media Event, please conduct a ZDrive as well and have attendees bring resources for local charity.

In turn, please keep track of the statistical results of your charity work and email it us so we can keep a running global total of its effect. This is not only a wonderful action to help the many communities now in desperate need of support, it gives TZM a layer of traditional identification for those who might otherwise see the social ideas as “too radical” to be practical.

Stats email: media@thezeitgeistmovement.com

*

5- Advice and Summary

The preceding data should give new Members a great deal to think about and work with. It is important to remind the reader that TZM is a movement of ideas and values at its core. It is also Social in its very nature. In many ways, those who understand, volunteer and work with this global community to help improve the world are a proxy of how our society could be if social responsibility and environmental respect finally rose to its needed place.

However, there is no denying that what is sought in this journey is likely the most difficult and controversial undertaking one can have. No one said this would be easy. Yet the level of difficulty at hand means nothing compared to the dire nature of its necessity. This Movement is not for the weak of heart or those without self-confidence. One factor that makes internal community support critical to our success is the reality that we are not likely to see much external support for sometime to come. Historically, those ahead of their time who have sought to change the world have always been deemed subversive, agitators or even terrorists. Society and its established values seems to not look well upon broad social changes regardless of how much it may be needed or the logic of its merit.

Regardless, this changes nothing for those of us who actually care and as time moves forward, the trends of social turmoil and destabilization seem to indicate that a larger and larger subculture is emerging which recognizes this need for this larger scale change and it is the role of TZM to help make sure a viable solution is put forward as this evolution continues.

-Mission Statement: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/mission-statement

Submission Guidelines & Tips

All submissions should be your original work. Please do not simply copy/paste information (online articles, links, etc.) and submit it as-is. (Excerpts from, or links to, other material may be used within the article, and should be cited appropriately.)
Writing Guidelines (click to see examples):
Announcement — General announcements, major events, procedural or structural changes, etc. concerning the Movement as a whole.
Chapter Update — This should be used by Chapter Coordinators (or those whom they have designated) to submit status reports and announcements related to their specific chapter.
Editorial — An editorial is a written work that generally presents the opinion or view of the author or publishing entity. Technically, there is no minimum length for an Editorial, but it should be long enough to effectively communicate your position to the reader. Try not to make it so long that your readers lose interest before they even get through it. Most editorials are around 1-2 pages long, single-spaced.
Media Project — If you have a work of art such as a comic/ drawing, poem, song, etc. that you’d like to share, please submit it to The Zeitgeist Media Project. Material submitted to that site will be periodically published on the Blog, under this category.
Meeting Minutes — In addition to the recordings, at least one person per meeting should take Notes and post them here in a fairly neat and structured format, sometime after the meeting is over. The basic info should include:
-Date and time of the meeting
-The purpose of the meeting (Agenda)
-Meeting coordinator(s)
-Assigned action items and people assigned
-Any decisions and/or changes made
-A link to the audio and/or video recording (If there is no recording, please specify.)
News Article — A purely factual submission based on news reports and relevant events around the world, as opposed to an Editorial, which includes the opinion/view of the author.
Narrative — An original story based on relevant events, experiences, etc. that may be true or fictional.
Press Release — A general statement, typically in response to a major event, that is published on behalf of the entire Movement. Click here for detailed instructions on how to properly write and format a Press Release.
Project Update — This entry is pertinent for keeping members of the Movement updated on any new projects that are developing, as well as existing projects as they progress. Submit a Project Update any time you or your peers/ teammates begin a new project, or make any progress, breakthroughs, major changes, etc. to an existing one. Be sure to check these entries regularly before starting a new project to ensure that there is not already one in place that you can simply join. This will hopefully help alleviate any scattered or diluted efforts, and instead combine them into strong, streamlined projects and teams. (We may want to consider including an RSS feed that links to all the individual project team PMS sites. That way the people from those teams will only have to update one site, their PMS site, and it will feed onto the newsletter site automatically.)
Participation Guidelines:
Please remain courteous and constructive when posting content or comments.
For information on how your participation affects your karma, please read the Comment moderation FAQ.
—————–Helpful Tips for Getting Your Submission(s) Approved:——————-
Please note that these are by no means requirements, but your careful consideration of these factors will not only assist the Editors in sorting through boat loads of material, but will also give our readers, and ultimately the Movement as a whole, a greater sense of community and rapport, as well as improving the overall Blog experience.
Use your real name: We want to be able to share your content with the world, including third-party organizations when applicable, perhaps even for further publishing on other mediums. It’s more feasible to do that when we are recommending an article by John Smith, Dr. Jane Doe, or Betty Sue, than if we have to recommend an article by “Cupcake” or “JRider” with no background or reliable method to contact him or her, assuming it is a “him,” or assuming it is a “her.”
Update your profile information: It might give Editors (and your readers 😉 a better understanding of your material if they have even a minimal background on who you are. The general blog community might be eager to share an amazing piece of work written by Betty Sue the aquarist, or Bob Jones the carpenter… rather than a random article written by an anonymous stranger. Readers may be more likely to subscribe to your Blog’s RSS feed (found on the Site Map) and “follow” you or your activity. You can create a well-deserved presence for yourself and your material in the blog community.
Use your real photo: Same as above. We are trying to build a community and we can’t do that without building relationships. In fact, we’re striving for a social system that will one day facilitate global empathy, meaning the whole world is the community. People generally remember, or at least distinguish, names and faces better than icons and aliases. More importantly, people connect with names and faces better than generic visuals and inanimate labels. The next time someone has an idea for a project, they’ll probably remember to contact “Billy Johnson with the red hat, smiling kind of crooked” for help – much better than they’ll remember “Alex1988 with a sunflower, or was it a rainbow, or a Skittle, or… what was it again? Something with colors. I think twelve other people had the same icon…” (We don’t know anyone who has the same face as you. Do you? 😉
Provide sources: The members of the Newsletter Team, while extremely dedicated, only have but so much time on their hands to fact check everything so that we don’t get burned for publishing something that’s inaccurate. If you provide links and sources to back up whatever it is that you’re talking about, you’ve saved us a lot of work. Not to mention your article will be just plain awesome, and more enjoyable for the reader. People will be saving it in their favorites for future reference… just wait and see. You may also want to provide convenient hyperlinks to any organizations, events, etc. that you may be mentioning in your article. (When possible, don’t forget to use the ‘Insert/edit link’ tool to hyperlink the words themselves, so it looks nice and neat without all of that ugly URL formatting.) For example:
– You can learn more about this by viewing Peter Joseph’s lecture. – OR –
– You can learn more about this by viewing Where Are We Going, a great lecture by Peter Joseph.
…instead of…
– You can learn more about this by watching Peter Joseph’s lecture, Where Are We Going.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxPPnCW6sMo
(Once or twice is fine, but scattered randomly throughout the entire article, not so much…)
Take pride in your work: Comb through it for spelling and grammatical errors. Yes, we have a proof-reading team in place for that, but don’t be so sure it will even make it to proofing if we can’t understand it. If the content is unclear or the meaning is lost, due to poor spelling and/or grammar, it may get rejected by Editors beforehand. Most likely, if the content is excellent, but the spelling and grammar needs work, Editors may send it back to you for clarification or improvement. However, the bottom line is, with the amount of submissions that will be coming in, it’s far more productive to publish polished submissions that require the least amount of additional work, and perhaps get to the other stuff later.
Spice it up: Nobody likes a bland article. Don’t forget to upload a thumbnail image for your submission, and feel free to add any images throughout the body that may enhance the reader’s experience. (Okay, don’t get too crazy. Keep the images relevant, and placed neatly (resized if needed) so that we can still read your lovely submission without having a seizure.) You may also add a video if applicable. Granted, the written content itself may be as “colorful” as can be, but it’s usually the imagery that initially draws people in to read it in the first place. Get creative, and remember, images from The Zeitgeist Media Project are available for anyone to use for free. 🙂
(Ooh, look! See what we did there, with the hyperlink? 😉
Carefully categorize your content: When filling out the submission form, don’t ignore the drop-downs. (They’re there for a reason. 😉 Even if you’re stumped, please try your best to accurately choose the submission ‘Type’ that best describes your work, and the ‘Category’ that it most closely relates to. It’s much more difficult (and time-consuming) for Editors to sort through and approve a bunch of generic items submitted as “Other,” than it is for them to pinpoint content for what it is, and go from there. Similarly, if it is in fact an “Other” (something that’s not listed in the drop-down), go ahead and categorize it as “Other” and don’t fudge it to be a “Press Release” or “Project Update,” because if it isn’t one, Editors will probably assume that you don’t actually know how to write a Press Release, or that your so-called “Project” doesn’t make any sense, and reject it. Always choose a Location when applicable, and don’t forget to add tags.
That’s all for now, but we may add more Helpful Tips as they arise. Happy Blogging!
Sincerely,
The Zeitgeist Movement Newsletter/Blog Team

Be sure to check out this 220 page Source Guide below which sources virtually everything. As requested by Zeitgeist creator Peter Joseph, I have replaced the original Zeitgeist movie with well over 1.25 million views with this updated for 2010 version. The meat and potato’s of it are the same, there’s some new information and the quality of it is improved upon.

Link to source guide:

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/Zeitgeist,%20The%20Movie-%20Companion%20Guide%20PDF…

https://signup.netflix.com/Movie/Zeitgeist-Moving-Forward/70225009?country=1&..

Zeitgeist (German pronunciation: [?tsa?t?a?st] ( listen)) is “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.” [1] Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.

The term is a loanword from German Zeit – “time” and Geist – “spirit” (cognate with English “ghost”).

The concept of Zeitgeist goes back to Johann Gottfried Herder and other German Romanticists, such as Cornelius Jagdmann, but is best known in relation to Hegel‘s philosophy of history. In 1769 Herder wrote a critique of the work Genius seculi by the philologist Christian Adolph Klotz and introduced the word Zeitgeist into German as a translation of genius seculi (Latin: genius – “guardian spirit” and saeculi – “of the age”).


-The Zeitgeist Movement, defined:

The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is an explicitly nonviolent, global sustainability advocacy group currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters across 70 countries. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events.

In short, the Chapters are essentially what define The Movement in operation. Each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, rational, practical solutions we have at our disposal to update (and evolve) our current social system, enabling a truly responsible, sustainable, global society to emerge for the betterment of all the world’s people.

TZM’s education and community projects seek the intermediate goal of obtaining a unified, worldwide movement for social transformation, regardless of country, religion, political party or any such traditionally divisive distinction. TZM recognizes a common, logical value identification pertaining to our survival, sustainability and public health which inherently transcends such culturally divisive issues. Human unification, rationalized out our inalterable, shared “common ground”, is a foundational premise.

From that understanding, a self-organizing Train of Thought with respect to how we can technically (and culturally) accomplish a new social system unfolds. The various stages of this transformation (“Transition”) is not something that can be readily predicted given the uncertain state of the world today and it is not the scope of this document to expand upon the issue. What we do know is that we are experiencing great destabilization in the world due to the inherent flaws of our current social structure and the problems emerging appear to be only getting worse as time goes on. It is from this uncertainty and loss of confidence in the current model that support for a new social system might be achieved, in part.

Therefore, The Movement’s work is to expand upon this Train of Thought and publicly communicate the resulting ideas, structures and methods with the goal of establishing a new cultural “zeitgeist”; hence a new, workable social model and common value system that ensures our socio-evolutionary fitness, our safety, our freedom, our quality of life and our prosperity.

-Your Role:

To become involved in The Movement does not require any monetary contribution, submission of personal information, forms to complete or any such traditional notion of membership. Volunteer organizers and Coordinators keep no databases outside of our simple web-based mailing lists which one is certainly encouraged to register with for updates.

TZM is modeled as a “see through” entity which merely represents a Data Set & Train of Thought at its core. It is holographic and decentralized in structure to assure its effect and warrant against historically notable problems of group identification. TZM has no offices, no location, no leaders, no benefactors and no static affiliations. This Movement is really about your personal understanding of the world along with how much you identify with the observations, logical inferences and solution oriented Train of Thought denoted in The Movement’s materials. If you agree with this need to change our system, please join a Chapter, learn, educate and help contribute.

TZM currently has many community projects, events and publications, as will be explained in this document. There is also a great deal of flexibility and creativity in how a person, group or Chapter chooses to engage and develop new ideas. The Movement is emergent in form and while, again, a basic Train of Thought persists, the tactics and specifics of the Movement’s work will inevitably undergo change.

In summery, we all have the same role here: To educate ourselves; educate others; create an organized critical mass and establish tactics to enable a transition to a new social design – a design which is arrived at in form by way of The Scientific Method.

As will be mentioned later in this document, a public, open-source project known as the Global Redesign Institute will exist to create and promote direct technical design changes for social organization, building upon the most advanced understandings in the fields of Science and Technology we have at the time.

-Educational Resources:

Since 2009, a great deal of data has been generated and output through various communication mediums. Radio Shows, PDFs, Films Presentations, Articles & Lectures are the most common (our information is always free). For someone new to TZM, the following list contains suggested references for review:

2012 ORIENTATION GUIDE This is a detailed summation of virtually all relevant points for TZM. It exists in Video and expanded PDF form, the latter of which contains extensive sources and appendices.

[ http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/orientation ]

WEBSITE FAQ TZM Global’s FAQ answers various questions, including Movement Structure specifics.

[ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq#faq1 ]

LECTURES & “TOOL KIT” The Global Website’s ever emerging “Tool Kit” contains many video and text presentations, often with extended sources and references as well. While this content is predominantly in English at this time, many other Non-English presenters operate across the world can be found via the Internet. Please search for your local International Chapter’s Website and review their media as well. http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/tool-kit

Apart from these core sources, community development is large and there is always an ongoing flow of information occurring via the TZM Official Blog, Zeitnews and other participatory mediums that will be discussed in Part 3 of this guide.

-Movement Participation:

A “Member” is loosely defined as one who agrees with the tenets and approach of TZM and in turn participates in their local Chapter’s awareness actions, whether online or local. However, all Members of The Movement have their education about relevant issues as the number one requirement to proceed.

To reiterate, true “Membership” is really a subscription to the Train of Thought at hand. Hence, it is about understanding and supporting The Movement’s logical tenets and working in whatever way one can to bring about awareness and change in a responsible, strategic and nonviolent manner. More specifically, one’s communication and personal skills are important to consider here. Generally speaking, personal specialization of focus has a symbiotic social role as a characteristic of our “Group Mind”, if you will. In other words, some of us are good at some things and others are good at other things. It is the collaboration of our unique skills and interests that creates the larger order realizations. Finding your place in TZM is unique to you and your skill set.

For example, if you feel you have broad organisational skills, working with or becoming a Regional Coordinator for your Chapter might be of interest. If you are technically inclined with a background in Engineering or the like, The Global Redesign Institute might be a comfortable place. If you find your skills are more communicative and artistic, The Zeitgeist Media Project and/or Media Festival might be a good place to contribute. If you are a skilled writer and researcher, joining and contributing focused articles to TZM’s Blog might be of interest. If you are a good public speaker, give presentations at your Monthly Town Halls and/or ZDay in your region on relevant subjects. You get the idea. Focus on what you are good at.

*

2- Joining a Chapter

-Overview:

Very simply, TZM Chapters are regional Zeitgeist Movement Member Groups, organized in Tiers. From “Top to Bottom”, the current Chapter Tiers are:

International—[ Countries ]
State/Province—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given Country ]
City/Town—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given State or Province ]

As noted before, your involvement with your Regional Chapter is what essentially defines you as a Member of The Movement in form. You can go to the Global Website [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/ ] to see the Current Top Tier Chapter list [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters ]. You can access the respective State (USA) or International Website and from there you should be able to locate the closest sub-chapter near you.

If you cannot find a Country, State or City Chapter for your region, it is then suggested you start one. Virtually all chapters have begun not by appointment, but by personal initiative. A simple review process to understand the seriousness and understanding of the applicant is assessed by existing Coordinators on a per case basis.

-Public Actions:

There are three reoccurring Public Actions for Chapters which are encouraged but naturally contingent upon the size and resources of the group: (1) Our annual “Zday” event; (2) our monthly “Town hall” event and (3) the annual Zeitgeist Media Festival. These will be discussed more in Part 4. However, each region also often has different community customs and possibilities. For example, in Los Angeles California, beach tent “vendor” posts are common on the boardwalk.

In Canada, many do street activism on a person to person basis. Some Chapters even host their own internet radio shows and produce their own media/newsletters based on custom research.

Part of working with your Chapter is being creative and explorative. In the end, the basic goal is still the same: Expose the root problems of our current system and then show the logic behind a new one.

-Meetings:

Chapters naturally need to have the ability to enable communication among its Members, along with other Chapters. As a Chapter grows, periodic Meetings should be conducted in live and/or virtual (online) settings.

TZM Global provides an Internet-Based Voice/Chat program which can be found here: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/teamspeak

Chapter Meetings typically occur in Tiers with Chapter Coordinators on their respective level. For example, the North Carolina State Chapter, assuming no sub-chapters (city) within it, would have a meeting with all NC Members present. However, in the meetings of the next largest Tier, the Country level (USA in this case), there would only be Coordinators of each State, not all the USA Members. This narrowing is for the sake of comprehension as it would be too difficult to have Global Meetings with tens of thousands of Members at once.

-Questions: If you have a question relating to Chapter Organization which is not answered in the follow links: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters

You may email directly via the Contact Form on this page: (select “Chapters” category): http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/contact-us

*

3- Websites, News & Project Contribution

Apart from signing up with the Global and Regional Mailing lists, there is a wealth of emerging information outlets and interactive mediums. These Websites and Projects are community driven, always free and have proven to be extremely effective. Most items noted below can be found via the Global Website’s home page as well.

-TZM Official Blog: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Member contribution via TZM Blog is a very effective way to give you, your chapter and important issues exposure. Many categories of interest from Economics, History, Science and Activism enable a tremendous platform for expression as an online newsletter and blog. Relevant articles that gain popularity also are highlighted via our Press Releases.

Please see the How-To Guide to start contributing: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/contribute

-TZM Global Radio: Started in 2009, TZM Global Radio is a Weekly Radio program presented by various coordinators/lecturers of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. It is here where ongoing public updates, news and announcements occur. Each Show occurs at 4pm Eastern Standard time every Wednesday via BlogTalkRadio.com: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

Info and Archive Page: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/radio_shows

Older Archives: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

*Note: While the Global Radio Show is the most conclusive, other programs of great merit also exist, including Programs via the “Zeitgeist Broadcasting Network” (ZBN): http://www.stickam.com/zbnlive

-Zeitgeist Media Project: http://zeitgeistmediaproject.com/ The Zeitgeist Media Project is an online hub for Artistic Media Content which can be uploaded and shared. The media types range from Video, Visual Art, Music/Audio, Literature and more. This content is mostly Creative Commons and is designed to be downloaded and used by other members in their work.

-ZeitNews: http://www.zeitnews.org/

Started in 2010. Zeitnews is an amazing source for advanced Scientific Research. Subjects of interest include Energy, Transportation, Biotechnology, Robotics and other important issues that relate science and technology to human prosperity.

Members may also contribute to the online publication: http://www.zeitnews.org/about/

-Global Redesign Institute: http://www.globalredesigninstitute.org/

The Global Redesign Institute is a Think Tank project currently in development. This advanced concept will create a virtual projection, region by region of what an accurate and up to date social infrastructure would comprise, sidestepping the traditionally inhibiting factors of money and establishment preservation. This project is about designing and expressing what is technically possible – not what is “affordable”. More on this project will be announced when it becomes operational.

-”Why I Advocate” Campaign: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/why-i-advocate

The Zeitgeist Movement’s “Why I Advocate TZM” Media Testimonial Campaign is a video blog project which gives personal perspectives and faces to The Zeitgeist Movement. This is very simple. Members simple make a public video about why they feel the need to change the world and identify with The Zeitgeist Movement. This is also a good way to show community support in general.

Current submissions can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=why+I+advocate+zeitgeist&aq=f

-Social Networks: TZM Global Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Twitter: http://twitter.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TZMOfficialChannel

Apart from the traditional Social Networks listed above, a hybrid project known as “TZM Social” has also emerged: http://www.tzmnetwork.com/

All members are encourage to review and contribute to these social mediums considering how powerful they have become culturally as a whole. Also, Regional Chapters and Projects are encouraged to initiate their own Networks via these medium for their own promotional purposes. ( I.E. a Youtube account assigned to your local chapter for display of your Town Halls, Zday events and the like.)

*

4- TZM Events and Activism

As noted prior, Chapters and hence Members have a few core (Global) periodic actions which are encouraged. These include, ZDay, ZMedia Fest and Monthly Town halls. Paired with these actions is our ZDrive food bank support and similar resource charity programs to help those in need. (more below*)

-Zeitgeist Day (“ZDay”): http://zdayglobal.org/

“Zeitgeist Day”, or ZDay for short, is an annual, global event day which occurs in the middle of March, each year. The goal is to increase public awareness of The Zeitgeist Movement. A Zeitgeist Day event can take many forms, ranging from a simple showing of DVD media; to full lectures and interactive question-and-answer events with Chapter Organizers in various regions. The 2010 ZDay there were 330 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide.

Each year, there is a “Main Event” which serves as a highlight, with more publicly notable speakers and guests. In 2009 and 2010, the Main event was in NYC; In 2011 it was in London, UK & in 2012 – Vancouver BC.

Please review the Official ZDay Website for more information: http://zdayglobal.org/

-Town Halls: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

The Zeitgeist Movement’s Town Hall Meetings are live, public events conducted by Official Regional Chapters. These localized events are similar in function to our annual global “Zeitgeist Day” (ZDAY) events but ideally occur monthly, rather than annually. Modelled after patterns proven effective by civil right’s movements historically, the goal is to inform the public of TZM’s understandings and goals and hence grow awareness and membership. To learn more; submit an event for your regions, please see: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

-Zeitgeist Media Festival: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/

Recognizing the power of art and media to help change the world, “The Zeitgeist Media Festival” engages the artistic community and its power to change values. It proposes that needed changes in the structural/economic workings of society can only manifest in tandem with a personal/social transformation of values in each of us. While intellectual knowledge serves its role of showing the path, many in the world follow their feelings- not the knowledge. The Zeitgeist Media Festival hopes to bridge those levels, while also illuminating a focus where changing and improving the world is no longer considered a fringe or suspect pursuit.

Participating in The Media Festival does not mean each event must meet some strict requirement of focus. However, participation does require that each act understand and agree with a general train of thought with respect to human and social sustainability.

The Zeitgeist Media Festival occurs in the Summer of each year. More info: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/site/index-1.html

-*ZDrive: The Zeitgeist Movement’s Charity Drive or “ZDrive” is a program to engage local social service institutions in conjunction with ongoing awareness events. The most common have been our Food Drives and Clothes Drives. For example, the Zeitgeist Media Festival Globally raised via donation about 12,000 meals for the poor in 2011. Resource donations are encouraged more than monetary contributions to avoid corruption.

How you conduct your ZDrive is contingent upon your region and its needs. Typically, a suggested donation of resources is welcomed upon entry to your event, such as the bringing of canned food for your local Food Bank. Since each region has different programs, it is suggested you contact your local charities to see how your Chapter can help.

So, if possible, every time you have a ZDay, Town Hall or Media Event, please conduct a ZDrive as well and have attendees bring resources for local charity.

In turn, please keep track of the statistical results of your charity work and email it us so we can keep a running global total of its effect. This is not only a wonderful action to help the many communities now in desperate need of support, it gives TZM a layer of traditional identification for those who might otherwise see the social ideas as “too radical” to be practical.

Stats email: media@thezeitgeistmovement.com

*

5- Advice and Summary

The preceding data should give new Members a great deal to think about and work with. It is important to remind the reader that TZM is a movement of ideas and values at its core. It is also Social in its very nature. In many ways, those who understand, volunteer and work with this global community to help improve the world are a proxy of how our society could be if social responsibility and environmental respect finally rose to its needed place.

However, there is no denying that what is sought in this journey is likely the most difficult and controversial undertaking one can have. No one said this would be easy. Yet the level of difficulty at hand means nothing compared to the dire nature of its necessity. This Movement is not for the weak of heart or those without self-confidence. One factor that makes internal community support critical to our success is the reality that we are not likely to see much external support for sometime to come. Historically, those ahead of their time who have sought to change the world have always been deemed subversive, agitators or even terrorists. Society and its established values seems to not look well upon broad social changes regardless of how much it may be needed or the logic of its merit.

Regardless, this changes nothing for those of us who actually care and as time moves forward, the trends of social turmoil and destabilization seem to indicate that a larger and larger subculture is emerging which recognizes this need for this larger scale change and it is the role of TZM to help make sure a viable solution is put forward as this evolution continues.

-Mission Statement: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/mission-statement

a Jewish State

No other government in the democratic world would have adopted such a law

Yossi Sarid, Israel opposition leader

Monday, 8 July, 2002, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK  

Arab ban proposed in Jewish areas

Seventeen cabinet ministers voted on Sunday to support a bill brought by a right-wing MP in response to a Supreme Court ruling that would have allowed an Arab nurse to move into a Jewish village in the north of the country.

The proposed law aims to preserve the character of certain Jewish communities inside Israel by making it harder for non-Jews to buy land there.

According to Israeli media, the bill empowers the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency, which leases about 93% of state land, to establish exclusively Jewish communities on land it administers.


Published on Nov 22, 2013

Nazareth Illit in Israel is a multi-ethnic community of Jews, Arabs and Christians. But the mayor is very open about his desire to change that, and his openly racist views were no barrier to his reelection. RT’s Paula Slier takes a look.

There are already over a Million Arabs in Israel with more rights than most Arabs have in any their own backward Nations.

How many Jews live in Islamic Nations ?

Yemen:
Jews are the oldest non-Muslim religious minority. Nearly all of the country’s once-sizable Jewish population has emigrated. Fewer than 400 Jews remain in the northern part of the country, primarily in Amran Governorate.

Since January 2007, the historic Saada governorate community of 45 Jews have lived in Sana’a, under the protection and care of the Government, after abandoning their homes in the face of threats from al-Houthi rebels. The community has abandoned its synagogues in Saada.
There is at least one functioning synagogue in Amran Governorate.

*
Libya:
After the war, anti-Jewish violence caused many Jews to leave the country usually for Israel.
Under Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, who has ruled the country since 1969, the situation became a lot worse, which led almost all Jews to emigrate; now, only one Jewish woman still lives in the country.

*
Tunisia:
Judaism is the country’s third largest religion with 1,500 members.
One-third of the Jewish population lives in and around the capital, and is descended predominantly from Italian and Spanish immigrants.
The remainder lives on the island of Djerba, where the Jewish community dates back 2,500 years.

*
Algeria:
The Jewish community of Algeria is of considerable antiquity, with some members claiming descent from immigrants from Palestine at the time of the Romans.
The majority are descendants of refugees from Spanish persecution early in the fifteenth century. They numbered about 140,000 before the Algerian War, but at independence in 1962 nearly all of them left the country.
Because the 1870 Crémieux Decrees, which aimed at assimilating the colonists of Algeria to France, gave Jews full French citizenship, most members of the Jewish community emigrated to France.

The small remaining Jewish population appeared to have stabilized at roughly 1,000. It was thought to be close to this number in the early 1990s.

Although no untoward incidents occurred during the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, a group of youths sacked the only remaining synagogue in Algiers in early 1977.

*
Egypt:
After the 1956 Suez Crisis, a great number of Jews were expelled by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Their Egyptian citizenship was revoked and their properties were confiscated. A steady stream of emigration of Egyptian Jews followed, reaching a peak after the Six-Day War with Israel in 1967. Today, Jews in Egypt number fewer than 200.

*
Syria:
After a mass-emigration in 1992, today fewer than 200 Jews live in Syria, mostly in the capital. A Syrian Jew is Arabic-speaking and is barely distinguishable from the Arabs around him. In Syria, as elsewhere, the degree to which Jews submit to the disciplines of their religion varies.

*
Lebanon:
There are only between 20 and 40 Jews now living in the country.
Emigration was not great even after Lebanon’s first civil war in 1958, as Lebanese Jews were tightly integrated into society and felt no need to abandon their homeland. But emigration increased after Lebanon’s 1975 civil war, and increased further after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

*
Iraq:
The once thriving Jewish community has survived, despite local 20th Century persecution on the background of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The majority have fled, largely to Israel. Fewer than 100 Jews remain in Iraq.

People blaming Israel all the time should remember that there is only 1 Nation for Jews and 57 Nations for Muslims, All over the world.
Leave now and let the Jews live happily, And let the Muslims live happily among their own!
Why fucking cry about living in that shithole Palestine when you have 60 other Nations to go to ?

Because the shithole is their home, the home of their parents, the home of the parents of their parents


BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (AP) — After a contentious mayoral election between secular and ultra-Orthodox rivals, this deeply divided city has become a flashpoint for a religious struggle that is threatening to tear Israel apart.

Claiming the election was stolen, secular and moderately religious residents of Beit Shemesh are arranging large demonstrations against the ultra-Orthodox mayor, demanding a new vote and even suggesting the city be split in two. But the protests go far beyond the alleged election fraud. They cut at the very nature of Israel as it tries to maintain its character as both a Jewish state and a pluralistic democracy.

“I really feel like they (the ultra-Orthodox) are trying to conquer our city. It’s not ‘live and let live.’ They are pushing us out,” said Etti Amos, 56, who has lived in Beit Shemesh since her family emigrated from Morocco when she was a child. She said her three children have left town because they saw no future.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 10 percent of Israel’s population. Maintaining a strict lifestyle that revolves around prayer, most live in ultra-Orthodox dominated towns or in insular neighborhoods in larger cities like Jerusalem.

While generally keeping to themselves, they often face resentment from the general public for shirking compulsory military service while receiving taxpayer stipends to pursue religious studies. They have also caused controversy by trying to force their conservative lifestyle on others.


Edited time: February 11, 2013 23:06

Ten female activists have been detained by police for trying to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Authorities accused them of taking part in practices that Orthodox Judaism reserves for men.

The incident occurred at the Western Wall – a site that has welcomed prayers from Jews for centuries.

The women belong to “Women of the Wall,” a liberal group which works for equal access for all Jewish denominations and practices at the sacred site. They conduct certain rituals, such as wearing prayer shawls and skullcaps and singing out loud.

While their activities may seem normal enough to many, there was a problem in the eyes of the Israeli police – strict Orthodox Judaism reserves their practices and garb for men.

It’s precisely that rule on attire that the group was protesting while they attempted to pray at the women’s section of the Wall – but Israeli police were anything but impressed with their efforts on Monday.

“They (police) said ‘take off your prayer shawls’, and we said ‘no,” Susan Silverman, who was among the detained, told Reuters.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the women acted against court-ordered regulations which bar women from wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall so as not to offend Orthodox Jewish worshippers. The women were released after close to three hours of questioning.

But members of the group aren’t so quick to accept the authorities’ explanation.

“This is just attrition,” said Women of the Wall chairwoman Anat Hoffman, who was among the detained. “They want to the group to become frightened,” she said.

Silverman said the Orthodox tradition barring women from wearing prayer shawls amounted to “spitting on Sinai,” referring to the site where the Bible says God handed the ancient Israelite leader Moses the Ten Commandments.

“All Jews are in a covenant with God,” regardless of their gender, she said.


A historical tour de force, The Invention of the Jewish People offers a groundbreaking account of Jewish and Israeli history. Exploding the myth that there was a forced Jewish exile in the first century at the hands of the Romans, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand argues that most modern Jews descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

In this iconoclastic work, which spent nineteen weeks on the Israeli bestseller list and won the coveted Aujourd’hui Award in France, Sand provides the intellectual foundations for a new vision of Israel’s future.




Published on Dec 2, 2012

Miko Peled was born in Jersusalem into a well known and influential Israeli Zionist family. His father was a famous General in the Israeli Army, of which Miko also served his time. When Miko’s niece was killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, you may have expected the family’s emotions to be directed at the Palestinians, but surprisingly they blamed the state of Israel, and their brutal torturing and persecution for driving people to such despair that they would take their own lives.

Through his father’s intimate knowledge of the Israeli war of terror, coupled with his own research, Miko Peled shatters the myths surrounding the Israel and Palestine situation, and delivers a truth so damning that many Jews and Israel supporters will not be able to handle it. He exposes facts such as the original expelled Jews are not the ones coming back, and they are not their descendants either, covers the double standards regarding the right of return, which doesn’t apply to Palestinians, and dispels the myth that there has been a conflict for ages by producing proof that it was peaceful up until 1947 when Israel launched their illegal attacks.

Miko is just one of a number of modern day Jews against Zionism and the state of Israel, and with the information he delivers in this brilliant talk, its not hard to see why more and more Jews are rejecting Zionism and calling for the dismantling of Israel. It is a true eye-opener for anyone who has for too long been blinded by the lies and misinformation given by the mainstream media, and the facts come straight from the heartland where he has spent many years documenting the true story.

Uploaded by http://www.muslimsandtheworld.com

Original clip is located at http://www.muslimsandtheworld.com/an-…


Sari Nusseibeh
Sari Nusseibeh is professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.

The Israeli government’s current mantra is that the Palestinians must recognise a “Jewish State”. Of course, the Palestinians have clearly and repeatedly recognised the State of Israel as such in the 1993 Oslo Accords (which were based on an Israeli promise to establish a Palestinian state within five years – a promise now shattered) and many times since. Recently, however, Israeli leaders have dramatically and unilaterally moved the goal-posts and are now clamouring that Palestinians must recognise Israel as a “Jewish State”.

In 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry concluded that the demand for a “Jewish State” was not part of the obligations of the Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate. Even in the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, when Zionists sought to “establish a home for the Jewish people”, there was no reference of a “Jewish State”. The Zionist Organisation preferred at first to use the description “Jewish homeland” or “Jewish Commonwealth”. Many pioneering Zionist leaders, such as Judah Magnes and Martin Buber also avoided the clear and explicit term “Jewish State” for their project of a homeland for Jews, and preferred instead the concept of a democratic bi-national state.

Today, however, demands for a “Jewish State” from Israeli politicians are growing without giving thought to what this might mean, and its supporters claim that it would be as natural as calling France a French State. However, if we consider the subject dispassionately, the idea of a “Jewish State” is logically and morally problematic because of its legal, religious, historical and social implications. The implications of this term therefore need to be spelled out, and we are sure that once they are, most people – and most Israeli citizens, we trust – will not accept these implications.

Many implications

First, let us say that confusion immediately arises here because the term “Jewish” can be applied both to the ancient race of Israelites and their descendants, as well as to those who believe in and practice the religion of Judaism. These generally overlap, but not always. For example, some ethnic Jews are atheists and there are converts to Judaism (leaving aside the question of whether these are accepted as such by Ultra-Orthodox Jews) who are not ethnic Jews.

Second, let us suggest also that having a modern nation-state being defined by one ethnicity or one religion is problematic in itself – if not inherently self-contradictory – because the modern nation-state as such is a temporal and civic institution, and because no state in the world is – or can be in practice – ethnically or religiously homogenous.

Third, recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” implies that Israel is, or should be, either a theocracy (if we take the word “Jewish” to apply to the religion of Judaism) or an apartheid state (if we take the word “Jewish” to apply to the ethnicity of Jews), or both, and in all of these cases, Israel is then no longer a democracy – something which has rightly been the pride of most Israelis since the country’s founding in 1948.

Fourth, at least one in five Israelis – 20 per cent of the population, according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics – is ethnically Arab (and are mostly either Muslim, Christian, Druze or Bahai), and recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” as such makes one-fifth of the population of Israel automatically strangers in their own native land and opens the door to legally reducing them, most undemocratically, to second-class citizens (or perhaps even stripping them of their citizenship and other rights) – something that no-one, much less a Palestinian leader, has a right to do.

Fifth, recognising a “Jewish State” as such in Israel would mean legally that while Palestinians no longer have citizens’ rights there, any member of world Jewry outside of Israel (up to 10 million people perhaps), should be entitled to full citizens’ rights there, no matter wherever they may be in the world today and regardless of their current nationality. Indeed, Israel publicly admits that it does not hold the land for the benefit of its citizens but holds it, in trust, on behalf of the Jews of the world for all time. This is something that happens in practice, but that obviously Palestinians in the occupied territories – including Jerusalem – do not see as fair, especially as they are constantly forcibly evicted off their ancestral homeland by Israel to make way for foreign Jewish settlers, and because Palestinians in their diaspora are denied the same right to come and live.

Sixth, it means, before final status negotiations have even started, that Palestinians would have then given up the rights of about 7 million Palestinians in the diaspora to repatriation or compensation; 7 million Palestinians descended from the Palestinians who in 1900 lived in historical Palestine (ie what is now Israel, the West Bank including Jerusalem, and Gaza) and at that time made up 800,000 of its 840,000 inhabitants; and who were driven off their land through war, violent eviction or fear.

Seventh, recognising a “Jewish state” in Israel – a state which purports to annex the whole of Jerusalem, East and West, and calls Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided capital” (as if the city, or even the world itself, were eternal; as if it were really undivided, and as if it actually were legally recognised by the international community as Israel’s capital) – means completely ignoring the fact that Jerusalem is as holy to 2.2 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims, as it is to 15-20 million Jews worldwide.

In other words, this would be to privilege Judaism above the religions of Christianity and Islam, whose adherents together comprise 55 per cent of the world’s population. Regrettably this is a narrative propagated even by renowned Jewish author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who, on April 15, 2010, took out full page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post and claimed that Jerusalem “is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture – and not a single time in the Qur’an”. Now we do not propose to speak for native Palestinian Arab Christians – except to say the that Jerusalem is quite obviously the city of Jesus Christ the Messiah – but as Muslims, we believe that Jerusalem is not the “third holiest city of Islam” as is sometimes claimed, but simply one of Islam’s three holy cities. And, of course, despite what Mr Wiesel seems to believe, Jerusalem is indeed clearly referred to in the Holy Qur’an in Surat al-Isra’ (17:1):

“Glorified be He Who transported His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Aqsa Place of Worship whose precincts We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.”

Moreover, Muslims wanting to take a similar, religiously exclusive narrative, could point out that while Jerusalem is mentioned 600 times in the Bible, it is not mentioned once in the Torah as such – a fact that any Biblical Concordance will easily confirm. Of course we do, however, recognise the importance of the land of Israel in the religion of Judaism – this is even mentioned in the Qur’an, 5:21 – we only ask that the Israeli government reciprocate this courtesy and allow Muslims to speak for themselves in expressing what they consider, and have always considered, as holy to them.

There is another reason, more serious than all of the seven mentioned above, why Palestinian leaders – and indeed no responsible person – can morally recognise Israel as a “Jewish State” as such. It has to do with the very Covenant of God in the Bible with Ancient Israelites of the promise of a homeland for Jews. God says to Abraham in the Bible:

On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:

“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates – the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis, 15:18-21; NKJ)

The ancient Israelites then go on to possess this land in the time of Moses, upon God’s command, as follows:

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. (Deuteronomy, 7:1-2; NKJ)

“Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said: ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’ Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.” (Deuteronomy, 9:1-4; NKJ)

The fate of many of the original inhabitants is then as follows:

And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. (Joshua, 6:21; NKJ)

And this continues even later on in time, as follows:

Samuel also said to Saul: “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'” (1 Samuel, 15:1-3; NKJ)

Now it is very easy to cherry-pick quotes from scripture permitting or enjoining violence. One could cite, out of context, verses such as the “sword verse” in the Holy Qur’an:

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and establish prayer and pay the alms, then leave their way free. God is Forgiving, Merciful. (Al-Tawbah, 9:5)

One could even cite verses – again out of context – from Jesus Christ’s own words in the Gospel, as follows:

“But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.'” (Luke, 19:27; NKJ)

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew, 10:34; NKJ)

Democracy or a Jewish State?

Nevertheless, it remains true that, in the Old Testament, God commands the Jewish state in the land of Israel to come into being through warfare and violent dispossession of the original inhabitants. Moreover, this command has its roots in the very Covenant of God with Abraham (or rather “Abram” at that time) in the Bible and it thus forms one of the core tenets of Judaism as such, at least as we understand it. No one then can blame Palestinians and descendents of the ancient Canaanites, Jebusites and others who inhabited the land before the Ancient Israelites (as seen in the Bible itself) for a little trepidation as regards what recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means for them, particularly to certain Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Jews. No one then can blame Palestinians for asking if recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means recognising the legitimacy of offensive warfare or violence against them by Israel to take what remains of Palestine from them.

We need hardly say that this comes against a background where every day the Israeli settler movement is grabbing more land in the West Bank and Jerusalem (there are now 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank alone) – aided, abetted, funded and empowered by the current Israeli government – and throwing or forcing more and more Palestinians out, in so many different ways that it would take volumes to describe. Moreover, there are credible reports that despite the almost universal agreement in Rabbinical texts throughout the ages that the divine command to kill the Amalekites was a unique and isolated historical incident that applied only to the race of the Ancient Amalekites, there are now, in certain religious schools in Israel, people who draw parallels between the Palestinians of today and the ancient Amalekites and their like (this was apparently the opinion of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, a former chief Rabbi of Israel; see also, for example: Shulamit Aloni’s article ‘Murder Under the Cover of Righteousness’, CounterPunch, March, 8-9, 2003).

In short, recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State” in Israel is not the same as, say, recognition of Greece today as a “Christian State”. It entails, in the Old Testament itself, a Covenant between God and a Chosen People regarding a Promised Land that should be taken by force at the expense of the other inhabitants of the land and of non-Jews. This idea is not present as such in other religions that we know of. Moreover, even secular and progressive voices in Israel, such as former president of the Supreme Court of Israel, Aharon Barak, understand the concept of a “Jewish State” as follows:

“[The] Jewish State is the state of the Jewish people … it is a state in which every Jew has the right to return … a Jewish state derives its values from its religious heritage, the Bible is the basic of its books and Israel’s prophets are the basis of its morality … a Jewish state is a state in which the values of Israel, Torah, Jewish heritage and the values of the Jewish halacha [religious law] are the bases of its values.” (‘A State in Emergency’, Ha’aretz, 19 June, 2005.)

So, rather than demand that Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish State” as such – adding “beyond chutzpah” to insult and injury – we offer the suggestion that Israeli leaders ask instead that Palestinians recognise Israel (proper) as a civil, democratic, and pluralistic state whose official religion is Judaism, and whose majority is Jewish. Many states (including Israel’s neighbours Jordan and Egypt, and countries such as Greece) have their official religion as Christianity or Islam (but grant equal civil rights to all citizens) and there is no reason why Israeli Jews should not want the religion of their state to be officially Jewish. This is a reasonable demand, and it may allay the fears of Jewish Israelis about becoming a minority in Israel, and at the same time not arouse fears among Palestinians and Arabs about being ethnically cleansed in Palestine. Demanding the recognition of Israel’s official religion as Judaism, rather than the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State”, would also mean Israel continuing to be a democracy.

Sari Nusseibeh is a professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

No other government in the democratic world would have adopted such a law

Yossi Sarid, Israel opposition leader

Monday, 8 July, 2002, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK  

Arab ban proposed in Jewish areas

Seventeen cabinet ministers voted on Sunday to support a bill brought by a right-wing MP in response to a Supreme Court ruling that would have allowed an Arab nurse to move into a Jewish village in the north of the country.

The proposed law aims to preserve the character of certain Jewish communities inside Israel by making it harder for non-Jews to buy land there.

According to Israeli media, the bill empowers the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency, which leases about 93% of state land, to establish exclusively Jewish communities on land it administers.


Published on Nov 22, 2013

Nazareth Illit in Israel is a multi-ethnic community of Jews, Arabs and Christians. But the mayor is very open about his desire to change that, and his openly racist views were no barrier to his reelection. RT’s Paula Slier takes a look.

There are already over a Million Arabs in Israel with more rights than most Arabs have in any their own backward Nations.

How many Jews live in Islamic Nations ?

Yemen:
Jews are the oldest non-Muslim religious minority. Nearly all of the country’s once-sizable Jewish population has emigrated. Fewer than 400 Jews remain in the northern part of the country, primarily in Amran Governorate.

Since January 2007, the historic Saada governorate community of 45 Jews have lived in Sana’a, under the protection and care of the Government, after abandoning their homes in the face of threats from al-Houthi rebels. The community has abandoned its synagogues in Saada.
There is at least one functioning synagogue in Amran Governorate.

*
Libya:
After the war, anti-Jewish violence caused many Jews to leave the country usually for Israel.
Under Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, who has ruled the country since 1969, the situation became a lot worse, which led almost all Jews to emigrate; now, only one Jewish woman still lives in the country.

*
Tunisia:
Judaism is the country’s third largest religion with 1,500 members.
One-third of the Jewish population lives in and around the capital, and is descended predominantly from Italian and Spanish immigrants.
The remainder lives on the island of Djerba, where the Jewish community dates back 2,500 years.

*
Algeria:
The Jewish community of Algeria is of considerable antiquity, with some members claiming descent from immigrants from Palestine at the time of the Romans.
The majority are descendants of refugees from Spanish persecution early in the fifteenth century. They numbered about 140,000 before the Algerian War, but at independence in 1962 nearly all of them left the country.
Because the 1870 Crémieux Decrees, which aimed at assimilating the colonists of Algeria to France, gave Jews full French citizenship, most members of the Jewish community emigrated to France.

The small remaining Jewish population appeared to have stabilized at roughly 1,000. It was thought to be close to this number in the early 1990s.

Although no untoward incidents occurred during the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, a group of youths sacked the only remaining synagogue in Algiers in early 1977.

*
Egypt:
After the 1956 Suez Crisis, a great number of Jews were expelled by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Their Egyptian citizenship was revoked and their properties were confiscated. A steady stream of emigration of Egyptian Jews followed, reaching a peak after the Six-Day War with Israel in 1967. Today, Jews in Egypt number fewer than 200.

*
Syria:
After a mass-emigration in 1992, today fewer than 200 Jews live in Syria, mostly in the capital. A Syrian Jew is Arabic-speaking and is barely distinguishable from the Arabs around him. In Syria, as elsewhere, the degree to which Jews submit to the disciplines of their religion varies.

*
Lebanon:
There are only between 20 and 40 Jews now living in the country.
Emigration was not great even after Lebanon’s first civil war in 1958, as Lebanese Jews were tightly integrated into society and felt no need to abandon their homeland. But emigration increased after Lebanon’s 1975 civil war, and increased further after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

*
Iraq:
The once thriving Jewish community has survived, despite local 20th Century persecution on the background of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The majority have fled, largely to Israel. Fewer than 100 Jews remain in Iraq.

People blaming Israel all the time should remember that there is only 1 Nation for Jews and 57 Nations for Muslims, All over the world.
Leave now and let the Jews live happily, And let the Muslims live happily among their own!
Why fucking cry about living in that shithole Palestine when you have 60 other Nations to go to ?

Because the shithole is their home, the home of their parents, the home of the parents of their parents


BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (AP) — After a contentious mayoral election between secular and ultra-Orthodox rivals, this deeply divided city has become a flashpoint for a religious struggle that is threatening to tear Israel apart.

Claiming the election was stolen, secular and moderately religious residents of Beit Shemesh are arranging large demonstrations against the ultra-Orthodox mayor, demanding a new vote and even suggesting the city be split in two. But the protests go far beyond the alleged election fraud. They cut at the very nature of Israel as it tries to maintain its character as both a Jewish state and a pluralistic democracy.

“I really feel like they (the ultra-Orthodox) are trying to conquer our city. It’s not ‘live and let live.’ They are pushing us out,” said Etti Amos, 56, who has lived in Beit Shemesh since her family emigrated from Morocco when she was a child. She said her three children have left town because they saw no future.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 10 percent of Israel’s population. Maintaining a strict lifestyle that revolves around prayer, most live in ultra-Orthodox dominated towns or in insular neighborhoods in larger cities like Jerusalem.

While generally keeping to themselves, they often face resentment from the general public for shirking compulsory military service while receiving taxpayer stipends to pursue religious studies. They have also caused controversy by trying to force their conservative lifestyle on others.


Edited time: February 11, 2013 23:06

Ten female activists have been detained by police for trying to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Authorities accused them of taking part in practices that Orthodox Judaism reserves for men.

The incident occurred at the Western Wall – a site that has welcomed prayers from Jews for centuries.

The women belong to “Women of the Wall,” a liberal group which works for equal access for all Jewish denominations and practices at the sacred site. They conduct certain rituals, such as wearing prayer shawls and skullcaps and singing out loud.

While their activities may seem normal enough to many, there was a problem in the eyes of the Israeli police – strict Orthodox Judaism reserves their practices and garb for men.

It’s precisely that rule on attire that the group was protesting while they attempted to pray at the women’s section of the Wall – but Israeli police were anything but impressed with their efforts on Monday.

“They (police) said ‘take off your prayer shawls’, and we said ‘no,” Susan Silverman, who was among the detained, told Reuters.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the women acted against court-ordered regulations which bar women from wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall so as not to offend Orthodox Jewish worshippers. The women were released after close to three hours of questioning.

But members of the group aren’t so quick to accept the authorities’ explanation.

“This is just attrition,” said Women of the Wall chairwoman Anat Hoffman, who was among the detained. “They want to the group to become frightened,” she said.

Silverman said the Orthodox tradition barring women from wearing prayer shawls amounted to “spitting on Sinai,” referring to the site where the Bible says God handed the ancient Israelite leader Moses the Ten Commandments.

“All Jews are in a covenant with God,” regardless of their gender, she said.


A historical tour de force, The Invention of the Jewish People offers a groundbreaking account of Jewish and Israeli history. Exploding the myth that there was a forced Jewish exile in the first century at the hands of the Romans, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand argues that most modern Jews descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

In this iconoclastic work, which spent nineteen weeks on the Israeli bestseller list and won the coveted Aujourd’hui Award in France, Sand provides the intellectual foundations for a new vision of Israel’s future.




Published on Dec 2, 2012

Miko Peled was born in Jersusalem into a well known and influential Israeli Zionist family. His father was a famous General in the Israeli Army, of which Miko also served his time. When Miko’s niece was killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, you may have expected the family’s emotions to be directed at the Palestinians, but surprisingly they blamed the state of Israel, and their brutal torturing and persecution for driving people to such despair that they would take their own lives.

Through his father’s intimate knowledge of the Israeli war of terror, coupled with his own research, Miko Peled shatters the myths surrounding the Israel and Palestine situation, and delivers a truth so damning that many Jews and Israel supporters will not be able to handle it. He exposes facts such as the original expelled Jews are not the ones coming back, and they are not their descendants either, covers the double standards regarding the right of return, which doesn’t apply to Palestinians, and dispels the myth that there has been a conflict for ages by producing proof that it was peaceful up until 1947 when Israel launched their illegal attacks.

Miko is just one of a number of modern day Jews against Zionism and the state of Israel, and with the information he delivers in this brilliant talk, its not hard to see why more and more Jews are rejecting Zionism and calling for the dismantling of Israel. It is a true eye-opener for anyone who has for too long been blinded by the lies and misinformation given by the mainstream media, and the facts come straight from the heartland where he has spent many years documenting the true story.

Uploaded by http://www.muslimsandtheworld.com

Original clip is located at http://www.muslimsandtheworld.com/an-…


Sari Nusseibeh
Sari Nusseibeh is professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.

The Israeli government’s current mantra is that the Palestinians must recognise a “Jewish State”. Of course, the Palestinians have clearly and repeatedly recognised the State of Israel as such in the 1993 Oslo Accords (which were based on an Israeli promise to establish a Palestinian state within five years – a promise now shattered) and many times since. Recently, however, Israeli leaders have dramatically and unilaterally moved the goal-posts and are now clamouring that Palestinians must recognise Israel as a “Jewish State”.

In 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry concluded that the demand for a “Jewish State” was not part of the obligations of the Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate. Even in the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, when Zionists sought to “establish a home for the Jewish people”, there was no reference of a “Jewish State”. The Zionist Organisation preferred at first to use the description “Jewish homeland” or “Jewish Commonwealth”. Many pioneering Zionist leaders, such as Judah Magnes and Martin Buber also avoided the clear and explicit term “Jewish State” for their project of a homeland for Jews, and preferred instead the concept of a democratic bi-national state.

Today, however, demands for a “Jewish State” from Israeli politicians are growing without giving thought to what this might mean, and its supporters claim that it would be as natural as calling France a French State. However, if we consider the subject dispassionately, the idea of a “Jewish State” is logically and morally problematic because of its legal, religious, historical and social implications. The implications of this term therefore need to be spelled out, and we are sure that once they are, most people – and most Israeli citizens, we trust – will not accept these implications.

Many implications

First, let us say that confusion immediately arises here because the term “Jewish” can be applied both to the ancient race of Israelites and their descendants, as well as to those who believe in and practice the religion of Judaism. These generally overlap, but not always. For example, some ethnic Jews are atheists and there are converts to Judaism (leaving aside the question of whether these are accepted as such by Ultra-Orthodox Jews) who are not ethnic Jews.

Second, let us suggest also that having a modern nation-state being defined by one ethnicity or one religion is problematic in itself – if not inherently self-contradictory – because the modern nation-state as such is a temporal and civic institution, and because no state in the world is – or can be in practice – ethnically or religiously homogenous.

Third, recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” implies that Israel is, or should be, either a theocracy (if we take the word “Jewish” to apply to the religion of Judaism) or an apartheid state (if we take the word “Jewish” to apply to the ethnicity of Jews), or both, and in all of these cases, Israel is then no longer a democracy – something which has rightly been the pride of most Israelis since the country’s founding in 1948.

Fourth, at least one in five Israelis – 20 per cent of the population, according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics – is ethnically Arab (and are mostly either Muslim, Christian, Druze or Bahai), and recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” as such makes one-fifth of the population of Israel automatically strangers in their own native land and opens the door to legally reducing them, most undemocratically, to second-class citizens (or perhaps even stripping them of their citizenship and other rights) – something that no-one, much less a Palestinian leader, has a right to do.

Fifth, recognising a “Jewish State” as such in Israel would mean legally that while Palestinians no longer have citizens’ rights there, any member of world Jewry outside of Israel (up to 10 million people perhaps), should be entitled to full citizens’ rights there, no matter wherever they may be in the world today and regardless of their current nationality. Indeed, Israel publicly admits that it does not hold the land for the benefit of its citizens but holds it, in trust, on behalf of the Jews of the world for all time. This is something that happens in practice, but that obviously Palestinians in the occupied territories – including Jerusalem – do not see as fair, especially as they are constantly forcibly evicted off their ancestral homeland by Israel to make way for foreign Jewish settlers, and because Palestinians in their diaspora are denied the same right to come and live.

Sixth, it means, before final status negotiations have even started, that Palestinians would have then given up the rights of about 7 million Palestinians in the diaspora to repatriation or compensation; 7 million Palestinians descended from the Palestinians who in 1900 lived in historical Palestine (ie what is now Israel, the West Bank including Jerusalem, and Gaza) and at that time made up 800,000 of its 840,000 inhabitants; and who were driven off their land through war, violent eviction or fear.

Seventh, recognising a “Jewish state” in Israel – a state which purports to annex the whole of Jerusalem, East and West, and calls Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided capital” (as if the city, or even the world itself, were eternal; as if it were really undivided, and as if it actually were legally recognised by the international community as Israel’s capital) – means completely ignoring the fact that Jerusalem is as holy to 2.2 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims, as it is to 15-20 million Jews worldwide.

In other words, this would be to privilege Judaism above the religions of Christianity and Islam, whose adherents together comprise 55 per cent of the world’s population. Regrettably this is a narrative propagated even by renowned Jewish author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who, on April 15, 2010, took out full page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post and claimed that Jerusalem “is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture – and not a single time in the Qur’an”. Now we do not propose to speak for native Palestinian Arab Christians – except to say the that Jerusalem is quite obviously the city of Jesus Christ the Messiah – but as Muslims, we believe that Jerusalem is not the “third holiest city of Islam” as is sometimes claimed, but simply one of Islam’s three holy cities. And, of course, despite what Mr Wiesel seems to believe, Jerusalem is indeed clearly referred to in the Holy Qur’an in Surat al-Isra’ (17:1):

“Glorified be He Who transported His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Aqsa Place of Worship whose precincts We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.”

Moreover, Muslims wanting to take a similar, religiously exclusive narrative, could point out that while Jerusalem is mentioned 600 times in the Bible, it is not mentioned once in the Torah as such – a fact that any Biblical Concordance will easily confirm. Of course we do, however, recognise the importance of the land of Israel in the religion of Judaism – this is even mentioned in the Qur’an, 5:21 – we only ask that the Israeli government reciprocate this courtesy and allow Muslims to speak for themselves in expressing what they consider, and have always considered, as holy to them.

There is another reason, more serious than all of the seven mentioned above, why Palestinian leaders – and indeed no responsible person – can morally recognise Israel as a “Jewish State” as such. It has to do with the very Covenant of God in the Bible with Ancient Israelites of the promise of a homeland for Jews. God says to Abraham in the Bible:

On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:

“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates – the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis, 15:18-21; NKJ)

The ancient Israelites then go on to possess this land in the time of Moses, upon God’s command, as follows:

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. (Deuteronomy, 7:1-2; NKJ)

“Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said: ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’ Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.” (Deuteronomy, 9:1-4; NKJ)

The fate of many of the original inhabitants is then as follows:

And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. (Joshua, 6:21; NKJ)

And this continues even later on in time, as follows:

Samuel also said to Saul: “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'” (1 Samuel, 15:1-3; NKJ)

Now it is very easy to cherry-pick quotes from scripture permitting or enjoining violence. One could cite, out of context, verses such as the “sword verse” in the Holy Qur’an:

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and establish prayer and pay the alms, then leave their way free. God is Forgiving, Merciful. (Al-Tawbah, 9:5)

One could even cite verses – again out of context – from Jesus Christ’s own words in the Gospel, as follows:

“But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.'” (Luke, 19:27; NKJ)

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew, 10:34; NKJ)

Democracy or a Jewish State?

Nevertheless, it remains true that, in the Old Testament, God commands the Jewish state in the land of Israel to come into being through warfare and violent dispossession of the original inhabitants. Moreover, this command has its roots in the very Covenant of God with Abraham (or rather “Abram” at that time) in the Bible and it thus forms one of the core tenets of Judaism as such, at least as we understand it. No one then can blame Palestinians and descendents of the ancient Canaanites, Jebusites and others who inhabited the land before the Ancient Israelites (as seen in the Bible itself) for a little trepidation as regards what recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means for them, particularly to certain Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Jews. No one then can blame Palestinians for asking if recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means recognising the legitimacy of offensive warfare or violence against them by Israel to take what remains of Palestine from them.

We need hardly say that this comes against a background where every day the Israeli settler movement is grabbing more land in the West Bank and Jerusalem (there are now 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank alone) – aided, abetted, funded and empowered by the current Israeli government – and throwing or forcing more and more Palestinians out, in so many different ways that it would take volumes to describe. Moreover, there are credible reports that despite the almost universal agreement in Rabbinical texts throughout the ages that the divine command to kill the Amalekites was a unique and isolated historical incident that applied only to the race of the Ancient Amalekites, there are now, in certain religious schools in Israel, people who draw parallels between the Palestinians of today and the ancient Amalekites and their like (this was apparently the opinion of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, a former chief Rabbi of Israel; see also, for example: Shulamit Aloni’s article ‘Murder Under the Cover of Righteousness’, CounterPunch, March, 8-9, 2003).

In short, recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State” in Israel is not the same as, say, recognition of Greece today as a “Christian State”. It entails, in the Old Testament itself, a Covenant between God and a Chosen People regarding a Promised Land that should be taken by force at the expense of the other inhabitants of the land and of non-Jews. This idea is not present as such in other religions that we know of. Moreover, even secular and progressive voices in Israel, such as former president of the Supreme Court of Israel, Aharon Barak, understand the concept of a “Jewish State” as follows:

“[The] Jewish State is the state of the Jewish people … it is a state in which every Jew has the right to return … a Jewish state derives its values from its religious heritage, the Bible is the basic of its books and Israel’s prophets are the basis of its morality … a Jewish state is a state in which the values of Israel, Torah, Jewish heritage and the values of the Jewish halacha [religious law] are the bases of its values.” (‘A State in Emergency’, Ha’aretz, 19 June, 2005.)

So, rather than demand that Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish State” as such – adding “beyond chutzpah” to insult and injury – we offer the suggestion that Israeli leaders ask instead that Palestinians recognise Israel (proper) as a civil, democratic, and pluralistic state whose official religion is Judaism, and whose majority is Jewish. Many states (including Israel’s neighbours Jordan and Egypt, and countries such as Greece) have their official religion as Christianity or Islam (but grant equal civil rights to all citizens) and there is no reason why Israeli Jews should not want the religion of their state to be officially Jewish. This is a reasonable demand, and it may allay the fears of Jewish Israelis about becoming a minority in Israel, and at the same time not arouse fears among Palestinians and Arabs about being ethnically cleansed in Palestine. Demanding the recognition of Israel’s official religion as Judaism, rather than the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State”, would also mean Israel continuing to be a democracy.

Sari Nusseibeh is a professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Creatures Of Self Destruction?

Published on Oct 4, 2013 http://www.singularityweblog.com/noam… Dr. Noam Chomsky is a famed linguist, political activist, prolific author and recognized public speaker, who has spent the last 60 years living a double life — one as a political activist and another as a linguist. His activism allegedly made him the US government’s public enemy number one. […]

Published on Oct 4, 2013

http://www.singularityweblog.com/noam…

Dr. Noam Chomsky is a famed linguist, political activist, prolific author and recognized public speaker, who has spent the last 60 years living a double life — one as a political activist and another as a linguist. His activism allegedly made him the US government’s public enemy number one. As a linguist he is often credited for dethroning behaviorism and becoming the “father of modern linguistics” (and/or cognitive science). Put together his accomplishments are the reasons why he is often listed as one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century.

During our 28 minute conversation with Noam Chomsky we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the balance between his academic and his political life; artificial intelligence and reverse engineering the human brain; why in his view both Deep Blue and Watson are little more than PR; the slow but substantial progress of our civilization; the technological singularity…

Wall Street accountability

Published on May 13, 2012

Rep. Alan Grayson questions the FED inspector General where $9 TRillion dollars went… and Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman hasn’t a clue…Dunno whether to laugh or cry – I am still getting over the shock and have watched 4 times – LISTEN carefully to what she says – THEY HAVE NO JURISTRICTION to investigate the fed!!!


Wall Street banks took down the economy by creating hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities that were toxic and often designed to fail. They knew that it was just a matter of time before mortgage foreclosures would destroy the value of those securities. Yet, all the largest U.S. banks packaged and sold toxic mortgages to investors all over the world, who were told these were sound investments. Sometimes the very same banks joined with hedge funds to profit by betting that the toxic securities would collapse. Meanwhile, they pumped up the housing market until it burst all over us.

Because of this fraudulent activity the entire economy crashed, killing 8 million jobs in a matter of months due to no fault of those displaced workers. It was the biggest, most corrupt and most profitable casino in human history. And now 2012 has passed without a single person responsible for the mess losing his or her job, or forfeiting their outrageous pay packages. As the New York Times recently reported:

Regulators, prosecutors, investors and insurers have filed dozens of new claims against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and others, related to more than $1 trillion worth of securities backed by residential mortgages.
Estimates of potential costs from these cases vary widely, but some in the banking industry fear they could reach $300 billion if the institutions lose all of the litigation. Depending on the final price tag, the costs could lower profits and slow the economic recovery by weakening the banks’ ability to lend just as the housing market is showing signs of life.
The banks are battling on three fronts: with prosecutors who accuse them of fraud, with regulators who claim that they duped investors into buying bad mortgage securities, and with investors seeking to force them to buy back the soured loans.
“We are at an all-time high for this mortgage litigation,” said Christopher J. Willis, a lawyer with Ballard Spahr, which handles securities and consumer litigation.
Efforts by the banks to limit their losses could depend on the outcome of one of the highest-stakes lawsuits to date — the $200 billion case that the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the housing twins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, filed against 17 banks last year, claiming that they duped the mortgage finance giants into buying shaky securities.
Last month, lawyers for some of the nation’s largest banks descended on a federal appeals court in Manhattan to make their case that the agency had waited too long to sue. A favorable ruling could overturn a decision by Judge Denise L. Cote, who is presiding over the litigation and has so far rejected virtually every defense raised by the banks, and would be cheered in bank boardrooms. It could also allow the banks to avoid federal housing regulators’ claims.
At the same time, though, some major banks are hoping to reach a broad settlement with housing agency officials, according to several people with knowledge of the talks. Although the negotiations are at a very tentative stage, the banks are broaching a potential cease-fire.
As the housing market and the nation’s economy slowly recover from the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street is vulnerable on several fronts, including tighter regulations assembled in the aftermath of the crisis and continuing investigations into possible rigging of a major international interest rate. But the mortgage lawsuits could be the most devastating and expensive threat, bank analysts say.
“All of Wall Street has essentially refused to deal with the real costs of the litigation that they are up against,” said Christopher Whalen, a senior managing director at Tangent Capital Partners. “The real price tag is terrifying.”
Anticipating painful costs from mortgage litigation, the five major sellers of mortgage-backed securities set aside $22.5 billion as of June 30 just to cushion themselves against demands that they repurchase soured loans from trusts, according to an analysis by Natoma Partners.
But in the most extreme situation, the litigation could empty even more well-stocked reserves and weigh down profits as the banks are forced to pay penance for the subprime housing crisis, according to several senior officials in the industry.
There is no industrywide tally of how much banks have paid since the financial crisis to put the mortgage litigation behind them, but analysts say that future settlements will dwarf the payouts so far. That is because banks, for the most part, have settled only a small fraction of the lawsuits against them.
JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse, for example, agreed last month to settle mortgage securities cases with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $417 million, but still face billions of dollars in outstanding claims.
Bank of America is in the most precarious position, analysts say, in part because of its acquisition of the troubled subprime lender Countrywide Financial.
Last year, Bank of America paid $2.5 billion to repurchase troubled mortgages from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and $1.6 billion to Assured Guaranty, which insured the shaky mortgage bonds.
But in October, federal prosecutors in New York accused the bank of perpetrating a fraud through Countrywide by churning out loans at such a fast pace that controls were largely ignored. A settlement in that case could reach well beyond $1 billion because the Justice Department sued the bank under a law that could allow roughly triple the damages incurred by taxpayers.
Bank of America’s attempts to resolve some mortgage litigation with an umbrella settlement have stalled. In June 2011, the bank agreed to pay $8.5 billion to appease investors, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Pimco, that lost billions of dollars when the mortgage securities assembled by the bank went bad. But the settlement is in limbo after being challenged by investors. Kathy D. Patrick, the lawyer representing investors, has said she will set her sights on Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo next.


The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reported Tuesday that Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, a dogged consumer advocate whose critique of Wall Street excess was a centerpiece of her campaign, will join the Senate Banking Committee. Wall Street spent boatloads of money to prevent Warren’s election, but now, as the Center for Responsive Politics noted, she will have oversight of the rules and regulations under which banks operate:


Dear Friend,
Yesterday’s announcement that S.E.C. Chair Mary Schapiro is resigning presents President Obama with a very telling choice and a very important opportunity.
The S.E.C. is one of the top regulators of Wall Street, so the president can and should ensure it’s led by a champion for accountability on Wall Street.
But we shouldn’t at all be confident the president won’t appoint someone more interested in placating Wall Street firms than taking them to task.
For example, the New York Times reported that Sallie Krawcheck, the former head of global wealth management at Merrill Lynch and a former top executive at Citigroup, is being considered for the position.1
President Obama has already named Elisse Walter, a current S.E.C. commissioner originally appointed by George W. Bush, as the new chair of the S.E.C. But Walter, who can serve through 2013 without Senate approval, will in all likelihood be a temporary replacement who serves only until another nominee can be confirmed by the Senate.
So we need to speak out now to push President Obama to name the right kind of person to the job.
M.I.T. economist and New York Times economic blogger Simon Johnson recommends three people to chair the S.E.C.: former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Senator Ted Kaufman; and the leader of the pro-reform group Better Markets, Dennis Kelleher.2 To Johnson’s list we’d add the former head of the F.D.I.C., Sheila Bair.
As Johnson pointed out in a recent blog post, the historical moment we’re in requires not just someone who will diligently enforce the law, but also someone who will combat the pernicious Wall Street spin that has become part of the conventional wisdom.
Johnson says:
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were all big donors to the Obama campaign in 2008 … but they did not make the top 10 list this year. Now would be a perfect time for the president to clean up Wall Street with a strong S.E.C. that is focused on enforcing the law and overturning dangerous parts of the conventional wisdom.3
Wall Street has countless well paid spinmeisters and well funded public relations efforts that have sought to absolve Wall Street crooks of any responsibility for the financial collapse. According to their Orwellian version of history, the people who gambled in the Wall Street casino with taxpayer money didn’t do anything wrong. And according to their vision, the best thing the government can do to get the economy on track is just get out of Wall Street’s way.
That would be a dangerous perspective for one of Wall Street’s top cops.
Neil Barofsky has actually put bankers in jail as both an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in New York and as Special Investigator General for the TARP program. A career prosecutor, he is one of the only people this decade who have prosecuted complex financial fraud.
Former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware is, according to Simon Johnson, “a consistent advocate for financial-sector reform and was one of the clearest voices during the 2010 legislative process that led to Dodd-Frank.”
Dennis Kelleher is, per Johnson, “a former senior Senate leadership aide with a great deal of political experience, including during the financial crisis and in the negotiations that led to Dodd-Frank, and now runs the pro-reform group Better Markets…No one has been a more effective advocate of implementing substantive reforms.”
Sheila Bair is widely acknowledged in government circles and the media as one of the first people to identify and accurately assess the subprime crisis. Elizabeth Warren said that Blair “is a strong voice for Wall Street accountability and financial reform…[whose] leadership during the financial crisis made a real difference for working families…”4
You can bet that Wall Street is already lining up support for their preferred candidates. So we can’t afford to be silent.
Please speak out and help push Obama to appoint a chair of the S.E.C. who will be a real force for Wall Street accountability. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. “Schapiro, Head of S.E.C., Announces Departure,” New York Times, 11-26-12. 
2. “Changing the Conventional Wisdom on Wall Street,” New York Times, 11-15-12. 
3. Ibid. 
4. “Sheila Bair, Republican Former FDIC Chairperson, Endorses Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate,” Elizabeth Warren for Senate Press Release, 10-17-12.


Dear Friend,
Elizabeth Warren’s victory over Scott Brown means that Massachusetts will soon be represented by the strongest voice for Wall Street accountability in the Senate.
But Wall Street-friendly politicians and lobbyists in DC have started a whisper campaign to keep Warren off of the Senate Banking Committee — the one Senate committee that would most directly empower her to fight for consumers and stand up to Wall Street banks.
Don’t let Wall Street sideline Elizabeth Warren.
We’ve seen this before. Elizabeth Warren was effectively blocked from heading up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — which she conceived of, advocated for and ultimately helped start up — by DC insiders who didn’t want such a strong advocate of banking reform in charge of the Wall Street watchdog she helped create.
She then ran for Senate and won. Now it’s up to us to have her back and ensure that when she gets to the Senate she can be the fierce and effective advocate we so desperately need.
Elizabeth Warren is a clear choice for the Senate Banking Committee. She is a respected Harvard professor and one of the country’s leading experts on bankruptcy law who spent her career focused on the financial struggles of middle class families.
What’s more, she has proven time and again that that she is willing to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of consumers, which is why Washington and Wall Street insiders are trying to keep her off the Senate Banking Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hearing from banking industry lobbyists and conservative Democrats who don’t want Elizabeth Warren on the banking committee. Now he needs to hear from us.
Put simply, there are far too few people in power who are as ready, willing and able to stand up to Wall Street banks as she is.
And whether it’s speaking out against a secret bailout of AIG or demanding Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, resign from the Board of the New York Fed, she has continued to carry the torch to this day.
Warren accomplished all of this before she was elected to the Senate. Just imagine what she’ll be able to do if she’s allowed to fully leverage the legislative and oversight powers of a sitting senator on the main committee for Wall Street legislation.
Speak out to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give Elizabeth Warren a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets


The lobbies write the bills. More people get in bankruptcy than graduate from college.

 To support her Massachusetts Senate Campaign, visit http://www.ElizabethWarren.com 

Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America’s credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: “UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures” [6/2007] [Public Affairs] [Business] [Show ID: 12620]

Published on May 13, 2012

Rep. Alan Grayson questions the FED inspector General where $9 TRillion dollars went… and Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman hasn’t a clue…Dunno whether to laugh or cry – I am still getting over the shock and have watched 4 times – LISTEN carefully to what she says – THEY HAVE NO JURISTRICTION to investigate the fed!!!


Wall Street banks took down the economy by creating hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities that were toxic and often designed to fail. They knew that it was just a matter of time before mortgage foreclosures would destroy the value of those securities. Yet, all the largest U.S. banks packaged and sold toxic mortgages to investors all over the world, who were told these were sound investments. Sometimes the very same banks joined with hedge funds to profit by betting that the toxic securities would collapse. Meanwhile, they pumped up the housing market until it burst all over us.

Because of this fraudulent activity the entire economy crashed, killing 8 million jobs in a matter of months due to no fault of those displaced workers. It was the biggest, most corrupt and most profitable casino in human history. And now 2012 has passed without a single person responsible for the mess losing his or her job, or forfeiting their outrageous pay packages. As the New York Times recently reported:

Regulators, prosecutors, investors and insurers have filed dozens of new claims against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and others, related to more than $1 trillion worth of securities backed by residential mortgages.
Estimates of potential costs from these cases vary widely, but some in the banking industry fear they could reach $300 billion if the institutions lose all of the litigation. Depending on the final price tag, the costs could lower profits and slow the economic recovery by weakening the banks’ ability to lend just as the housing market is showing signs of life.
The banks are battling on three fronts: with prosecutors who accuse them of fraud, with regulators who claim that they duped investors into buying bad mortgage securities, and with investors seeking to force them to buy back the soured loans.
“We are at an all-time high for this mortgage litigation,” said Christopher J. Willis, a lawyer with Ballard Spahr, which handles securities and consumer litigation.
Efforts by the banks to limit their losses could depend on the outcome of one of the highest-stakes lawsuits to date — the $200 billion case that the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the housing twins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, filed against 17 banks last year, claiming that they duped the mortgage finance giants into buying shaky securities.
Last month, lawyers for some of the nation’s largest banks descended on a federal appeals court in Manhattan to make their case that the agency had waited too long to sue. A favorable ruling could overturn a decision by Judge Denise L. Cote, who is presiding over the litigation and has so far rejected virtually every defense raised by the banks, and would be cheered in bank boardrooms. It could also allow the banks to avoid federal housing regulators’ claims.
At the same time, though, some major banks are hoping to reach a broad settlement with housing agency officials, according to several people with knowledge of the talks. Although the negotiations are at a very tentative stage, the banks are broaching a potential cease-fire.
As the housing market and the nation’s economy slowly recover from the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street is vulnerable on several fronts, including tighter regulations assembled in the aftermath of the crisis and continuing investigations into possible rigging of a major international interest rate. But the mortgage lawsuits could be the most devastating and expensive threat, bank analysts say.
“All of Wall Street has essentially refused to deal with the real costs of the litigation that they are up against,” said Christopher Whalen, a senior managing director at Tangent Capital Partners. “The real price tag is terrifying.”
Anticipating painful costs from mortgage litigation, the five major sellers of mortgage-backed securities set aside $22.5 billion as of June 30 just to cushion themselves against demands that they repurchase soured loans from trusts, according to an analysis by Natoma Partners.
But in the most extreme situation, the litigation could empty even more well-stocked reserves and weigh down profits as the banks are forced to pay penance for the subprime housing crisis, according to several senior officials in the industry.
There is no industrywide tally of how much banks have paid since the financial crisis to put the mortgage litigation behind them, but analysts say that future settlements will dwarf the payouts so far. That is because banks, for the most part, have settled only a small fraction of the lawsuits against them.
JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse, for example, agreed last month to settle mortgage securities cases with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $417 million, but still face billions of dollars in outstanding claims.
Bank of America is in the most precarious position, analysts say, in part because of its acquisition of the troubled subprime lender Countrywide Financial.
Last year, Bank of America paid $2.5 billion to repurchase troubled mortgages from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and $1.6 billion to Assured Guaranty, which insured the shaky mortgage bonds.
But in October, federal prosecutors in New York accused the bank of perpetrating a fraud through Countrywide by churning out loans at such a fast pace that controls were largely ignored. A settlement in that case could reach well beyond $1 billion because the Justice Department sued the bank under a law that could allow roughly triple the damages incurred by taxpayers.
Bank of America’s attempts to resolve some mortgage litigation with an umbrella settlement have stalled. In June 2011, the bank agreed to pay $8.5 billion to appease investors, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Pimco, that lost billions of dollars when the mortgage securities assembled by the bank went bad. But the settlement is in limbo after being challenged by investors. Kathy D. Patrick, the lawyer representing investors, has said she will set her sights on Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo next.


The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reported Tuesday that Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, a dogged consumer advocate whose critique of Wall Street excess was a centerpiece of her campaign, will join the Senate Banking Committee. Wall Street spent boatloads of money to prevent Warren’s election, but now, as the Center for Responsive Politics noted, she will have oversight of the rules and regulations under which banks operate:


Dear Friend,
Yesterday’s announcement that S.E.C. Chair Mary Schapiro is resigning presents President Obama with a very telling choice and a very important opportunity.
The S.E.C. is one of the top regulators of Wall Street, so the president can and should ensure it’s led by a champion for accountability on Wall Street.
But we shouldn’t at all be confident the president won’t appoint someone more interested in placating Wall Street firms than taking them to task.
For example, the New York Times reported that Sallie Krawcheck, the former head of global wealth management at Merrill Lynch and a former top executive at Citigroup, is being considered for the position.1
President Obama has already named Elisse Walter, a current S.E.C. commissioner originally appointed by George W. Bush, as the new chair of the S.E.C. But Walter, who can serve through 2013 without Senate approval, will in all likelihood be a temporary replacement who serves only until another nominee can be confirmed by the Senate.
So we need to speak out now to push President Obama to name the right kind of person to the job.
M.I.T. economist and New York Times economic blogger Simon Johnson recommends three people to chair the S.E.C.: former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Senator Ted Kaufman; and the leader of the pro-reform group Better Markets, Dennis Kelleher.2 To Johnson’s list we’d add the former head of the F.D.I.C., Sheila Bair.
As Johnson pointed out in a recent blog post, the historical moment we’re in requires not just someone who will diligently enforce the law, but also someone who will combat the pernicious Wall Street spin that has become part of the conventional wisdom.
Johnson says:
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were all big donors to the Obama campaign in 2008 … but they did not make the top 10 list this year. Now would be a perfect time for the president to clean up Wall Street with a strong S.E.C. that is focused on enforcing the law and overturning dangerous parts of the conventional wisdom.3
Wall Street has countless well paid spinmeisters and well funded public relations efforts that have sought to absolve Wall Street crooks of any responsibility for the financial collapse. According to their Orwellian version of history, the people who gambled in the Wall Street casino with taxpayer money didn’t do anything wrong. And according to their vision, the best thing the government can do to get the economy on track is just get out of Wall Street’s way.
That would be a dangerous perspective for one of Wall Street’s top cops.
Neil Barofsky has actually put bankers in jail as both an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in New York and as Special Investigator General for the TARP program. A career prosecutor, he is one of the only people this decade who have prosecuted complex financial fraud.
Former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware is, according to Simon Johnson, “a consistent advocate for financial-sector reform and was one of the clearest voices during the 2010 legislative process that led to Dodd-Frank.”
Dennis Kelleher is, per Johnson, “a former senior Senate leadership aide with a great deal of political experience, including during the financial crisis and in the negotiations that led to Dodd-Frank, and now runs the pro-reform group Better Markets…No one has been a more effective advocate of implementing substantive reforms.”
Sheila Bair is widely acknowledged in government circles and the media as one of the first people to identify and accurately assess the subprime crisis. Elizabeth Warren said that Blair “is a strong voice for Wall Street accountability and financial reform…[whose] leadership during the financial crisis made a real difference for working families…”4
You can bet that Wall Street is already lining up support for their preferred candidates. So we can’t afford to be silent.
Please speak out and help push Obama to appoint a chair of the S.E.C. who will be a real force for Wall Street accountability. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets


1. “Schapiro, Head of S.E.C., Announces Departure,” New York Times, 11-26-12. 
2. “Changing the Conventional Wisdom on Wall Street,” New York Times, 11-15-12. 
3. Ibid. 
4. “Sheila Bair, Republican Former FDIC Chairperson, Endorses Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate,” Elizabeth Warren for Senate Press Release, 10-17-12.


Dear Friend,
Elizabeth Warren’s victory over Scott Brown means that Massachusetts will soon be represented by the strongest voice for Wall Street accountability in the Senate.
But Wall Street-friendly politicians and lobbyists in DC have started a whisper campaign to keep Warren off of the Senate Banking Committee — the one Senate committee that would most directly empower her to fight for consumers and stand up to Wall Street banks.
Don’t let Wall Street sideline Elizabeth Warren.
We’ve seen this before. Elizabeth Warren was effectively blocked from heading up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — which she conceived of, advocated for and ultimately helped start up — by DC insiders who didn’t want such a strong advocate of banking reform in charge of the Wall Street watchdog she helped create.
She then ran for Senate and won. Now it’s up to us to have her back and ensure that when she gets to the Senate she can be the fierce and effective advocate we so desperately need.
Elizabeth Warren is a clear choice for the Senate Banking Committee. She is a respected Harvard professor and one of the country’s leading experts on bankruptcy law who spent her career focused on the financial struggles of middle class families.
What’s more, she has proven time and again that that she is willing to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of consumers, which is why Washington and Wall Street insiders are trying to keep her off the Senate Banking Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hearing from banking industry lobbyists and conservative Democrats who don’t want Elizabeth Warren on the banking committee. Now he needs to hear from us.
Put simply, there are far too few people in power who are as ready, willing and able to stand up to Wall Street banks as she is.
And whether it’s speaking out against a secret bailout of AIG or demanding Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, resign from the Board of the New York Fed, she has continued to carry the torch to this day.
Warren accomplished all of this before she was elected to the Senate. Just imagine what she’ll be able to do if she’s allowed to fully leverage the legislative and oversight powers of a sitting senator on the main committee for Wall Street legislation.
Speak out to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give Elizabeth Warren a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets


The lobbies write the bills. More people get in bankruptcy than graduate from college.

 To support her Massachusetts Senate Campaign, visit http://www.ElizabethWarren.com 

Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America’s credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: “UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures” [6/2007] [Public Affairs] [Business] [Show ID: 12620]